Prior to his state visit to France, Chinese President Xi Jinping published a signed article titled “Move Together Toward Common Development” in French newspaper Le Figaro on March 23, which mentioned China-France nuclear power cooperation three times.
“Unit 1 of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), jointly built by China and France, has become the world's first European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) to be put into commercial operation,” wrote Xi.
Taishan NPP is the largest-ever energy-related cooperative project between China and France. Construction began in 2009 and advanced steadily. Its Unit 1 was the world’s first EPR to begin commercial operations on Dec 13, 2018.
Xi continued by stating that the “The Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Plant, an iconic trilateral project between China, France, and Britain, has got off to a good start.”
CGN and Electricité de France (EDF) signed an agreement in London on Oct 21, 2015 in the presence of Xi and then British Prime Minister David Cameron to tap into the third-party market through the Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C, and Bradwell B projects.
EDF is the controlling shareholder of the Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C projects, which make use of French Gen-III EPR technology. The Bradwell B project, with CGN as its controlling shareholder, uses China’s Generation-III nuclear technology – HPR1000.
Construction on the Hinkley Point C project is already in full swing. It is expected to satisfy 7 percent of Britain’s electricity needs.
China-France nuclear power cooperation, from the Daya Bay NPP, the first gigawatt-level commercial NPP on the Chinese mainland, to Unit 1 of the Taishan NPP and the three aforementioned British projects, has helped strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
“China hopes to work with France to deepen comprehensive cooperation in traditional areas like nuclear energy, aviation, and aerospace, develop new areas for cooperation such as agriculture and technological innovation, and make more headway in cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and in third markets,” Xi declared in his article.
“China and France are special friends and win-win partners. The world is undergoing major changes rarely before seen and society is at a critical stage of development. The challenges and risks we confront are ever more complex, and the opportunities available to us are just as unprecedented. As comprehensive strategic partners, China and France should continue forging ahead together. I hope the two sides will seize opportunities, jointly confront challenges, and deepen mutual trust in order to improve the prospects of common development and shared prosperity,” he added.
As the main force behind China-France nuclear power cooperation, CGN will follow the spirit of Xi's article, strengthen exchanges and cooperation with French companies, and contribute to mutual economic development and cultural exchanges.