Today, China is one of the most important markets in the global nuclear industry with 30 units of reactors in operation and 24 units of reactors under construction. To better control the enormous cost of the nuclear project and to master key technologies, the Chinese government set up the target of localization of the nuclear supply chain that the localization rate of Chinese nuclear industry will be raised to 80% after the 13th five-year plan.
Over the past few decades, China has achieved some of its localization targets, and the result of the localization looks satisfying. During the 4th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform, Dr Zhang Liquan, the director of supply chain management of State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation, elaborated the achievements of the supply chain localization of Chinese nuclear industry.
The following sheet shows the approach of the equipment localization for four AP1000 reactors built in China from Sanmen Unit 1 to Haiyang Unit 2.
China now has the ability and capability to manufacture all the key equipment for different nuclear reactor designs that have been constructed in China. Shanghai Electric, the largest nuclear equipment supplier in China, of which the vice president Li Huagang attended the 4th ANBP, has built a largest-scale and highest-concentration base in the world to manufacture master devices of nuclear island, and forms a complete supply chain of master devices of nuclear island, with an annual output of 4 sets of 1000MW class reactor pressure vessels, 6 sets of 1000MW class steam generators, 6 sets of fuel handling, storage and transportation systems, 8 sets of 1000MW reactor internals and control rod drive mechanisms, 12 sets of main pumps and 50 sets of nuclear island pumps Level 2 and 3.
Li Huagang, Vice President of Shanghai Electric Nuclear Group, talking at the Supply Chain Panel of ANBP2016
However, localization of Chinese nuclear industry does not mean China will isolate from the global nuclear market. The main GEN III reactor design of China, Hualong-1 and CAP1400 is generated respectively from Areava technology and Westinghouse AP1000. To achieve the localization goal, China is continuing and strengthening the cooperative relationships with mature global nuclear players.
Most of the nuclear suppliers, especially the foreign companies in China, may see the localization of Chinese nuclear industry as a threat, and worry about losing the market share. But in my opinion, it is more like an opportunity & challenge. Started from the 12th five-year plan, China has created plenty of cooperation opportunities with international nuclear vendors. Chinese companies spent money on buying advanced technology and financing the co-R&D programmes, from which an international nuclear suppliers can also benefit. For example, Shanghai Electric co-founded several subsidiaries with other international groups like Schneider and Morimatsu in China like for specific nuclear technology importing, and optimizing for the Chinese market.
China is no more a new comer of nuclear energy, but it is still a new comer of nuclear industry supply. To achieve the target of localization for the economy, international cooperation is the most efficient way and China has also chosen this way. Thus, I would like to say, the localization of Chinese nuclear industry is not a threat for an international nuclear supplier.