China aims to build a world-class nuclear energy innovation hub in five years, rallying support from eight State-owned giants and leading academies, a milestone for the country’s ambitious plan to become a global nuclear forerunner.
Located in Shanghai, long a hotbed of nuclear innovation in China, the plan aims to make major breakthroughs conducive to a full industrial upgrading. This will include R&D, manufacturing of fourth-generation reactors and new types of pressurized water reactors; small reactors, marine nuclear power platforms, special nuclear materials; the construction of high-quality test benches and manufacturing chains, according to Zheng Mingguang, deputy general manager of the Shanghai-based State Nuclear Power Technology (SNPTC), the initiator of the project.
The mega plan will be pillared by the establishment of new innovative bodies in Shanghai, including an industry cloud and big data center, an advanced equipment manufacturing center, and a basic science innovation center to further establish China as a nuclear tech leader, high-end facility manufacturer and exporter.
The country’s top two nuclear energy makers, China National Nuclear and China Nuclear Power Engineering have signed up, pledging to deploy resources from their Shanghai affiliates to the new hub. Also on board are electrical equipment manufacturers, including Shanghai Electric, and brain powers such as the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics under Chinese Academy of Social Science, Shanghai Supercomputer Center, and Shanghai Jiaotong University.
“As China moves to the forefront of nuclear technology, there is a greater need for the integration of resources between research institutes and companies. In the next step, SNPTC will team up with Shanghai Jiaotong University to build a technology testing and verification base in Shanghai’s Lingang District,” said Zheng.
Shanghai is the birthplace of China’s nuclear power. In the 1970s, it housed China’s first domestically designed and built 300,000 KW Qinshan Plant, when more than 180 facility makers and research institutes laid roots in Shanghai to support its completion. Today, Shanghai has evolved into a major cluster of Chinese nuclear tech companies.