Photo taken on March 21, 2018 shows the installation site of a hemispherical dome at the No. 6 unit of China National Nuclear Corporation's Fuqing nuclear power plant in Southeast China's Fujian Province. In May 2017, a containment dome was installed on the No. 5 unit of the nuclear power plant, the first reactor featuring the Hualong One design. (Photo/Xinhua)
U.S. restrictions 'won't affect UK project'
China's major State-owned nuclear industrial enterprises said they will confidently deal with the new U.S. restrictions on nuclear exports to China, stressing that China's nuclear development is self-reliant, and that the restrictions won't have an impact on the UK nuclear power station project. They also said they may use legal ways to safeguard their legitimate interests.
Chinese analysts said on Sunday that Chinese State-owned nuclear enterprises "are not like ZTE" and won't be harmed too much by U.S. restrictions, and the Donald Trump administration is just cutting off the opportunity for U.S. nuclear companies to enter the Chinese market.
China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) responded on their WeChat accounts on Friday and Saturday respectively, after the Trump administration announced on Thursday that it would sharply restrict exports of civilian nuclear technology to China.
Thursday's New York Times report said the Trump administration's announcement mixed security warnings with longstanding complaints that China "was continuing to steal nuclear-related technology from American firms to benefit Chinese state-owned companies."
The U.S. said China is "actively pursuing our advanced nuclear technology for diversion to military use in its third-generation nuclear power submarine, in the development of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and in strategic dual use nuclear-powered platforms, such as small modular reactors and floating nuclear power plants deployable in the South China Sea," CNN reported Friday.
CGN said on its Weibo account on Saturday that "We don't understand if the allegations made by the U.S. are based on proven facts or a judicial decision which has already taken effect." But no matter what, "they are all groundless," and CGN "reserves the right to take legal action to protect its legitimate interests."
The civil and military nuclear technologies use very different standards, and it is impossible and unrealistic for China to boost its military nuclear projects through China-U.S. nuclear cooperation, said Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator.
"The U.S. announcement is just another move that hypes the 'China threat theory,' which is totally groundless. Without U.S. imports, China will still cooperate with other partners like France and Russia, and the Trump administration is just shutting down a business opportunity for U.S. nuclear companies in the Chinese market," Song told the Global Times on Sunday.
"CGN and CNNC are not like ZTE. They are very self-reliant so they won't be bullied," a Beijing-based expert on the nuclear industry, who requested anonymity, told the Global Times on Sunday.
"But they need to prepare a back-up plan if U.S. restrictions have an impact on China's cooperation with other countries," the expert said.
CGN also said on its Weibo account that cooperation on the nuclear power station with the UK won't be affected. "The ongoing project in the UK does not use U.S. nuclear technologies" and China's exports of nuclear technologies is under strict supervision. "We will continue to push the nuclear project in the UK together with our partners."
CGN and CNNC are pushing the nuclear projects Hinkley Point C and Bradwell nuclear power stations in the UK. The two leading Chinese nuclear enterprises are jointly promoting an advanced third-generation nuclear reactor known as the "Hualong One" (or Huanglong-1) to overseas clients. CGN aims to deploy the technology at the project in Bradwell, China Global Television Network reported on Sunday.
CNNC said on its WeChat account on Friday that "Huanglong One is based on third-generation nuclear power technology with China's independent property rights," its "localization rate exceeds 85 percent, and does not rely much on U.S. imports, so the new U.S. restrictions won't affect the Huanglong One."