Two decommissioned reactors are close to the premises where Bradwell nuclear power plant will be built. (Photo/China Daily)
Development at the Bradwell B power plant in the United Kingdom is progressing smoothly.
Electricite de France SA, or EDF, and China General Nuclear Power Corp are working together to develop the new nuclear power station at Bradwell-on-Sea on the Essex coast near London.
Bradwell will be built with indigenous Chinese third generation nuclear technology known as Hua-long Pressurized Reactor 1000 or HPR1000, with support from the French energy group.
CGN and EDF are preparing geographical studies of the site where the Bradwell power generators will be located.
These works include checking the soil conditions, and assessing cooling facilities and design strategies to protect the local biodiversity, according to Richard Mayson, director of Bradwell Power Generation Co.
As the first nuclear power plant in a developed economy using Chinese technology, Bradwell is expected to pave the way for the international expansion of the country's nuclear industry.
"Chinese nuclear technology's deployment in a mature economy, such as the UK, symbolizes our nuclear power industry's transformation from 'big' to 'strong'," said Zheng Dongshan, chief executive officer of General Nuclear International, CGN's London-based subsidiary.
China's nuclear industry has grown rapidly during the past three decades.
With the safe and successful completion and operation of plants, such as the famous Daya Bay power station in Guangdong province, China is becoming an active leader in the global sector.
China has 36 nuclear power reactors in operation, ranking it fourth in the world after the United States, France and Russia, with a further 20 under construction.
The World Nuclear Association forecasts that the country will overtake the US with the largest nuclear power capacity during the next 10 to 15 years.
The timing of the construction at Bradwell-on-Sea has yet to be confirmed but preparation is well underway.
In January, the UK's nuclear regulator started a process to review HPR1000 for deployment in the country.
Known as the General Design Assessment, this test is believed to be the strictest in the world. "That means getting the go-ahead will open doors for HPR1000 in more international markets," said Andrew Shepherd, a senior energy and infrastructure analyst at BMI Research.
CGN estimates the GDA review will take five years.