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China plans big nuclear export push

Buoyed by the USD 20 billion deals to build new generation nuclear plants in Pakistan and Romania, China has said it will promote nuclear power technology on a larger scale abroad to boost its exports.

It is time for Chinese equipment makers to explore overseas markets and that demonstrations of this equipment are needed to boost such exports, Premier Li Keqiang said during a visit to China Nuclear Power Engineering Co Ltd yesterday.

He said China will promote nuclear power on a larger scale at home and abroad as it steps up the upgrading of manufacturing and seeks more global deals.

"Safety is a must and should be ensured throughout the whole process, from design to operation. I hope you can adopt the highest standards, offer the best quality with the most competitive prices," Li said.

While China's high-speed railways are gaining a global reputation, Chinese nuclear power technology and its facilities should also have a place abroad, he added.

Li backed the Hualong One Reactor, a domestically developed third-generation reactor design, saying it is the latest on his list for businesses to go global, state-run China Daily reported today.

In the list of sales and prospects for Chinese nuclear plants displayed by the daily, Pakistan figured on the top with new 1100 mw reactors to be built in Karachi at a cost of about USD 12 billion.

While the plants at a cost of USD 2.4 billion are under construction, another with USD 9.6 billion cost - with about USD 6.5 billion - are vendor financing.

China defends the construction of the big nuclear reactors in Pakistan without the approval of the 48 member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the main body of civilian nuclear technology commerce, saying that the reactors would come under the safeguards of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The new list of Chinese nuclear reactors stated that China is financing USD 7.3 billion to construct nuclear reactors in Romania followed by plans to invest in Argentina, the UK, Turkey and South Africa.