China’s Belt and Road nuclear projects could earn Chinese firms as much as 1 trillion yuan ($145.52 billion) by 2030. This would be 30 large nuclear reactors built in countries that are part of the Belt and Road plan.
Forty-one Belt and Road nations already had nuclear power programs or were planning to develop them. China would need 20% market share to create five million new jobs and export 30 nuclear reactors. This would also mean that if China could get half of the nuclear market in those countries then China could build 75 nuclear reactors outside of China by 2030.
China is exporting its own third-generation reactor design known as Hualong One.
China’s domestic nuclear construction pace has slowed down so there is extra capacity available to build nuclear reactors for other countries.
By 2026, China is expected to generate close to 100 gigawatts of electricity from nuclear energy, nearly tripling current production. In addition to lower capital and labor costs, large-scale standardization efforts and growing technical expertise in manufacturing and construction have helped make nuclear power economical in China.
Karachi 2 and 3 (in Pakistan) are the first export of China’s Hualong One design, with construction of unit 2 beginning in 2015 and unit 3 in 2016. Installation of the reactor internals at unit 2 was completed in January this year. The units are scheduled for commercial operation in 2021 and 2022.
In addition to the two units under construction in Pakistan, four Hualong One units are being built in China. China National Nuclear Corporation is constructing two units at its Fuqing plant in Fujian province, while China General Nuclear (CGN) is building two at its Fangchenggang site in Guangxi province. All four units are expected to enter commercial operation in 2019-2020.
CGN proposes to use a UK version of its Hualong One design – the HPR1000 – at a prospective new nuclear power plant at Bradwell, England.
China is close to a nuclear reactor deal in Argentina. An Argentina deal is one of the first success stories for Chinese nuclear overseas. Since 2000, Russia has dominated overseas nuclear power, supplying 45 percent of total capacity. China is the fifth largest exporter, supplying just 9 percent.
SOURCES- Reuters, World Nuclear News, Bulletin of the American Scientist
Written By Brian Wang, nextbigfuture.com