The Vice-Minister recalled France's historical cooperation with China in the deployment of its fleet of nuclear reactors. China now has 54 nuclear reactors of different designs and has initiated the construction of a further twenty reactors.
The ASN Chairman presented the safety issues associated with the new energy policy (projects for nuclear reactors such as the EPR2 and small modular reactors (SMR), continued operation of the existing NPP fleet), along with climate change.
Within the context of the development of nuclear power in France and China, the Vice-Minister expressed the desire to continue and develop the overall cooperation between the two countries in the industrial and research fields, including with respect to safety. He expressed keen interest in the operating experience data from the two countries, including with regard to the environmental impact of the reactors depending on their location, in the light of the challenges associated to climate change (at present all of China’s reactors are on the coast, while 75% of France’s reactors are on rivers).
On 14 November, the ASN delegation met the Chinese National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) headed by its Administrator, Vice-Minister DONG Baotong.
This meeting was an opportunity to reaffirm the close ties that have existed between the two safety authorities for many years.
Several technical subjects were discussed, such as analysis of the operating experience feedback from the EPR Taishan reactors with regard to the commissioning of Flamanville 3, small modular reactor (SMR) projects and the corresponding changes to the preliminary review process in France, radioactive waste management and the lessons learned from non-destructive tests in the two countries regarding the stress corrosion phenomenon.
During this meeting, the cooperation agreement between ASN and NNSA was renewed for a period of 5 years. Following the technical discussions, the two Authorities agreed to broaden their cooperation with a multi-year roadmap defining the priorities for the coming years.
The ASN delegation also visited the NSC’s emergency centre (National and Radiation Safety Center) and noted the high level of the digital tools developed to establish a diagnostic of a degraded or accident situation.
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The CAEA is the Chinese Government authority with competence for the nuclear industry. It is responsible for research and the definition of policy, regulations, plans, programmes and industrial standards relating to the peaceful use of nuclear energy by China. It also plays an important role in the national management of and response to a nuclear emergency. It is also responsible for discussions and cooperation with other foreign governments and international organisations in the nuclear field.
Date of last update : 20/11/2023