SNPTC sets up Beijing nuclear R&D park

24 February 2011

China's State Nuclear Power Technology Corp is planning to develop a national research and development centre in Beijing's northwestern Changping district. The facility is also hoped to become a base for developing nuclear industry talent and industry.

A signing ceremony with local officials was held in February.

Proceedings of the Nuclear Policy Council, 21 February 2011

The President of the Republic met the Board of Nuclear Policy Monday, 21 February 2011.

Pursuant to the decisions of the Nuclear Policy Council of 27 July 2010, relating to establishment of a strategic partnership between EDF and AREVA, the two companies will finalize a technical and commercial accord before the summer on:

- Further optimization of the EPR, based on feedback from ongoing projects (Olkiluoto Flamanville, Taishan 1 & 2),
- Improved maintenance and operation of the existing nuclear fleet, to increase the operational performance of reactors and to prepare the extension of their operating life beyond 40 years
- Management of the fuel cycle in order to qualify new products and fuels to enhance industrial cooperation on the storage of radioactive waste.

To implement the ambition of France in the exploration and mining of uranium, and reaffirming that mining is a major asset for AREVA, the Nuclear Policy Council asked to spin off this activity as a prerequisite for consideration and implementation of strategic and financial scenarios to ensure its development. The Nuclear Policy Council also called on AREVA and EDF to enter into a long-term uranium supply agreement.

To strengthen the French offering, in addition to the high-power reactor (1650MW) EPR, which is now the reference product of the French nuclear industry, the Nuclear Policy Council Calls on AREVA, EDF, GDF-SUEZ and other stakeholders to strengthen their industrial cooperation to further optimize and certify the mid-size reactor ATMEA-1. The proposed construction of a first in France ATMEA-1 will be considered.

To take part in developing the Chinese market, the Nuclear Policy Council has instructed the director general of the CEA to conduct negotiations with the Chinese authorities for a comprehensive partnership between France and China, on the all civilian nuclear activities, including national security. This partnership may include, in addition to providing products and services related to existing or planned nuclear fleet, and construction of new EPRs, the joint development of a new, Gen-III medium-power reactor (1000MW), based on the successful experience of French industrialists and Chinese construction and operation of joint-design reactors. All players in the French nuclear industry will be involved in this partnership.

In addition, the Minister of Energy, with the support of CEA and other authorities concerned, will lead a working group responsible for studying technical, legal, and economic projects for low-power reactors (100 to 300MW).

As part of the States General of Industry, the Nuclear Policy Council requests the Minister of Energy to set up a strategic committee of nuclear power, bringing together all actors in the nuclear industry, corporations engineering, service providers, equipment manufacturers, fuel cycle companies, contractors, subcontractors, unions representing employees. Chaired by the Minister and vice-chaired by the President and CEO of EDF, who will ensure the management of its steering committee, the committee's strategy will aim to strengthen relationships and partnerships between different actors in the nuclear industry. Instruments to support industry set up by the Government (ISPs, OSEO, competitive clusters aid ...) will be mobilized.

To ensure the coordination of the French offer for export, the Nuclear Policy Council requests the Minister for Energy to lead a coordination of all actors of the French nuclear industry, involving representatives of different ministries. When France is sought for her skills as an architect, EDF will be the leader of the French nuclear industry. In other cases, the leaders will be appointed according to the situation and needs of the requesting country's competition for French companies.

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