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Areva's New Bid for Nuclear Power Generation Units
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French nuclear group Areva is offering an all-round technology transfer in its new bid for China's third-generation nuclear power generation units, said visiting Areva Group Chairperson Anne Lauvergeon on Thursday.


Lauvergeon, who accompanied visiting French President Jacques Chirac to China, told Xinhua that Areva would offer China its European Pressurized water Reactor (EPR) technology provided it builds at least one EPR unit.


According to Lauvergeon, this is Areva's eighth bid since China launched international tenders for its third-generation nuclear reactor units in September, 2004. The units will be used in the Yangjiang nuclear power project in South China's Guangdong Province and the Sanmen nuclear power project in East China's Zhejiang Province.


Areva, Toshiba-owned Westinghouse and Russia's ASE are the three candidates for the contract.


Lauvergeon said that Areva had promised that if it wins the bid, it will expand its cooperation with China to such fields as uranium exploration and mining as well as the disposal of spent fuel.


Areva is currently the only provider of third generation nuclear power technology which has a firm order. Its first EPR unit will go into operation in Finland in June 2009.


The Chinese government wants to raise the proportion of nuclear power in the country's total from the current 1.6 percent to four percent by 2020. This means that in the next 15 years, China will build 30 million kilowatts of nuclear power capacity.


Continuity and standardization are critical aspects of nuclear power technology and the safe operation of nuclear power units. This means that when a country opts for a particular technology, the supplier potentially has a very big market and great commercial opportunities.


China has already adopted Areva technology for some of its nuclear power generation units. Lauvergeon said that this meant that Areva's EPR would mesh well with China's current second generation nuclear reactor technology.


Areva entered the Chinese market in 1986, supplying nuclear equipment for the Dayawan and Ling'ao nuclear power projects in Guangdong Province and technology and equipment for the four nuclear reactors in the Qinshan II and Tianwan nuclear power stations in East China's Jiangsu Province.


Lauvergeon said that Areva is also cooperating with China in fuel management, nuclear services and electrical power transmission and distribution.


Areva's cooperation with China in nuclear power is all-round, stable and in-depth. "We hope to win the tender and make China a showcase for Areva's EPR," she said.


(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2006)


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