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CGN funds will power UK plants

By Du Xiaoying and Cecily Liu in London | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-23 08:01

China General Nuclear Power Corporation has confirmed its investment in the United Kingdom's nuclear industry as Britain's regulator began the second stage of the process to assess China's third-generation nuclear power technology.

Speaking in London on Tuesday, He Yu, who is chairman of the company also known as CGN, said the enterprise will continue investing in the UK's nuclear industry as part of the globalization of China's nuclear sector.

"The successful completion of the first stage of the UK regulator's assessment of our technology signifies the UK regulator recognizes that CGN has sufficiently prepared itself for the assessment," He said.

The UK nuclear authority's assessment process is considered one of the most rigorous in the world. China's third-generation nuclear technology, the Hualong Pressurized Reactor 1000, which is also known as HPR1000, was submitted for assessment in January. CGN estimates the process will take five years.

Gavin Edwards, Hualong generic design assessment officer at General Nuclear System, said his team takes a long-term view in bringing HPR1000 technology to the UK. General Nuclear Systems is a joint venture between CGN and French company EDF and it will liaise with the UK government on HPR1000's assessment.

Once HPR1000 receives full approval, CGN and EDF will use the technology at the UK's Bradwell B nuclear power station, becoming the first-ever Chinese-designed nuclear power station to be built in a mature economy.

CGN's reaffirmed confidence in the UK nuclear sector follows the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which set the country's future direction, including a focus on the development and globalization of China's high-tech sector.

CGN and EDF are investing in three UK nuclear reactors: Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C and Bradwell B. The package of deals was signed during President Xi Jinping's state visit to the UK in October 2015, and received formal approval from the British government in September 2016.

The first of the three reactors, the 18 billion pound ($23.82 billion) Hinkley Point C, involves a one-third investment from CGN. It will deliver 7 percent of the UK's electricity when it starts generating power in 2025.

Said He: "We wish to make nuclear collaboration a model example of the UK-China partnership during our 'golden era' of relations, and under the Belt and Road Initiative."

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