China, which has ambitious plans to deploy nuclear power domestically, is stepping up its efforts to export nuclear technology abroad.
Three moves this week by state owned nuclear companies all demonstrated that the economic powerhouse intends to capitalize on a growing global interest in nuclear power:
- State Nuclear Power Technology Corp (SNPTC) formed a joint venture with Westinghouse, the U.S. nuclear group owned by Japan's Toshiba, to help sell Westinghouse-based nuclear reactors globally, Westinghouse said in a press release.
- China Guangdong Nuclear Corp (GGN), one of the country's largest nuclear companies, changed its name to China General Nuclear Corp. to broaden its brand image outside of China and its home base of Guangdong, news agency Xinhua reported via China Daily.
- CGN, SNPTC and China National Nuclear Corp. pitched nuclear power to South Africa at an energy exhibition near Johannesburg, Creamer Media's Engineering News reported.
The Beijing-based Westinghouse joint venture, called SNPTC-WEC Nuclear Power Technical Services, extends a partnership in which Westinghouse and SNPTC are building four nuclear reactors in China - the first four in the world for Westinghouse's "passively cooled" AP-1000 reactor - and in which Westinghouse has transferred technology to China.
The new company aims to build up the supply chain of AP1000 nuclear plant equipment by qualifying suppliers who would sell both within China and globally.
Global aspirations motivated the name change at CGN, which people had "wrongly believed to be a provincial-level firm," Xinhua wrote. "The company still takes Guangdong as its base camp, while reaching out to the global market," spokesman Hu Guangyao said.
South Africa marks a potential landing spot for CGN, as the South African government has proposed a new nuclear program; thus, the three-company pitch from China this week.
Worldwide nuclear electricity generation will grow 30 percent by 2020, as many newcomer countries fire up nuclear for the first time, according to research firm Global Data. This week, Russia pushed a plan to build an operate nuclear stations for emerging countries, and Japan agreed to provide nuclear technology to the United Arab Emirates in exchange for oil. South Korea is leading the nuclear build there.
China operates 17 nuclear reactors at home today and is currently building 28 reactors domestically. According to the World Nuclear Association, its combined total of domestic reactors either under construction, planned or proposed is around 150 - more than a third of the 435 nuclear reactors presently operating commercially around the world.
Image grabbed from SNPTC website.
A quick global tour of nuclear, on SmartPlanet:
- Japan lawmakers push for nuclear restart
- Russia to emerging countries: We'll build, operate your nuclear reactors
- Realpolitik: Japan trades nuclear tech to Middle East in exchange for oil
- Russia plowing $32 billion into nuclear over next two years
- The secret U.S.-Russian nuclear fusion project
- Newcomers like Bangladesh will drive 30 percent growth in nuclear
- Russia banks on Vietnamese nuclear
- The shortest route: Russia ships gas to Japan via Arctic
- Photo captures Westinghouse’s nuclear knowledge flying around China
- Virgin Nuclear? Branson asks Obama for reactor help. Sir Richard v Bill Gates?
- Westinghouse enters U.S.-China nuclear collaboration
- Saudi Arabia taps China for nuclear