China, Russia agree to expand nuclear power cooperation

Thu Sep 2, 2010 7:37am GMT
 

BEIJING, Sept 2 (Reuters) - China and Russia have agreed to expand nuclear power cooperation in seven areas, including building floating nuclear power plants, exploring uranium mines, eliminating old plants and developing markets abroad, the China Atomic Energy Authority said.

They will also cooperate on molten-core catcher technologies, which improve nuclear safety, the authority said in a statement on its website (www.caea.gov.cn), after a meeting of Russian and Chinese government officials and industry executives.

It did not elaborate.

China is interested in Russia's expertise on floating nuclear power plants, and both sides will set up groups to assess prospects in the area, Interfax news agency has reported, citing Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia's state nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom.

They also reached agreement on Russia's involvement in the construction of two fast-neutron reactors in China, while a contract to add two nuclear power generating units at the Tianwan nuclear power plant could also be signed before the end of this year or in the first quarter of 2011, Kiriyenko was quoted as saying.

Tianwan, the first Chinese nuclear power plant using Russian technology, started commercial operation of its first generating unit in 2006 and the second in 2007.

China is making a big push for nuclear power and other alternative energy sources to reduce its over-reliance on dirty coal. It is building more nuclear power plants than any country in the world and has become a test ground for different nuclear technologies from France, Canada, Russia and the United States.

For a factbox of China's nuclear power plants and plan, click:[ID:nTOE66S089]

(Reporting by Jim Bai and Tom Miles; Editing by Ken Wills)

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