China plans to gamble on the bulk deployment of its untested “Hualong One” nuclear reactor, squeezing out foreign designs, as it resumes a long-delayed nuclear programme aimed at meeting its clean energy goals, government and industry officials said. After years of construction delays, overseas models such as Westinghouse’s AP1000 and France’s “Evolutionary Pressurised Reactor” (EPR) are now set to lose out in favour of new localised technologies, industry experts and officials said. China signed a technology transfer deal with the United States in 2006 that put the AP1000 at the “core” of its atomic energy programme. It also pledged to use advanced third-generation technology in its safety review after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. But by the time the world’s first AP1000 and EPR made their debuts in China last year, Chinese designs had become just as viable. Though China has yet to complete its first Hualong One, officials are confident it will not encounter the delays suffered by rivals, and say it can compete on safety and cost. Beijing has already decided to use the Hualong One for its first newly commissioned nuclear project in three years, set to begin construction later this year at Zhangzhou, a site originally earmarked for the AP1000. China’s ambitions for the Hualong One extend overseas as well. The first foreign project using the reactor is under construction in Pakistan and the model is in the running for projects in Argentina and Britain.
Reuters 17th April 2019 read more »