Recent milestones in the nuclear cooperation between Rosatom and China (2)

Recent milestones in the nuclear cooperation between Rosatom and China (2)

An intergovernmental protocol and a framework contract for the joint construction of units No. 7 and No. 8 on the site of the Tianwan NPP with VVER-1200 reactors. The contract was signed by Rosatom and CNNC, which together built four VVER-1000 units. The partners started the joint construction of the power unit No. 1 of the Tianwan NPP twenty years ago, gained a great experience of cooperation. One of the results of this coherence is that the power unit No. 3 was built several months earlier than the period stipulated in the contract. At the end of this year, the operation of the fourth unit will take place.

The Intergovernmental protocol contracts two VVER-1200 reactors at the site of the Xudapu NPP. In 2014 this site was intended for the Westinghouse AP-1000. China counted on the experience and knowledge of American specialists to implement their development plans. Interestingly, China played a big role in the “biography” of both Westinghouse and Rosatom . The contract for the construction of the first two units of the Tianwan NPP at that time was signed by the Ministry of Atomic Energy of Russia in 1997, after a ten-year break in the construction of new power units, it was a sign of trust in the russian experience. Rosatom fully utilized this support in order not only to restore former competencies, but also to multiply and develop nuclear scientists in China.

Similarly, Chinese customers treated the American company with confidence and respect, but Westinghouse had a break in construction of the nuclear power plant for almost 30 years – and this, in general, was the main reason why the outcome for this company turned out to be completely different. The main lesson is that for the preservation of industry professionals, their experience and skills, to preserve the possibility of further growth, the development of nuclear energy should not stop.

Contracts for the construction of four nuclear power units at once (Tianwan 7 & 8, Xudapu 1 &2) is a huge project, guaranteeing a professionals work for several decades ahead to Russia, for managers of Rosatom. This is the same result as the contract in Egypt and Turkey. In accordance with the signed contracts, Rosatom will design nuclear islands of all power units, produce, supply and install on-site key equipment. The commissioning of Unit No. 7 of Tianwan NPP is planned for 2026, Unit 8 for 2027, and both units of the Xudapu NPP should be commissioned in 2028.

About Author

Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.