British firms extend cooperation with China

Amec Foster Wheeler has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation (CNECC) on cooperation in nuclear energy. Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce has signed contracts with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) covering technical training.

Amec Foster Wheeler-CNEC - April 2016 - 460 (Amec Foster Wheeler)

Armand Kirk, strategic development director of Amec Foster Wheeler’s clean energy business, signs the MOU with CNECC director general Deng Xiaoliang (Image: Amec Foster Wheeler)

The two agreements were signed in Beijing yesterday as part of a nuclear trade mission organized by UK Trade & Investment and the China-Britain Business Council.

Amec Foster Wheeler said it had signed a “wide-ranging agreement” with nuclear power plant constructor CNECC covering potential collaboration in the nuclear industry. The two companies “have committed themselves to work together to develop opportunities in nuclear power development, construction, operation and decommissioning projects globally”, it said.

According to Amec Foster Wheeler, the two companies will also “identify specialist knowledge that can contribute towards reactor outage management, operation, ageing management, [operating period] extension and upgrading of existing units”. The scope of the agreement also covers training, waste management and decommissioning, it said.

Amec Foster Wheeler anticipates that, through the agreement, CNECC will make use of its new £2 million ($3 million) High-Temperature Facility (HTF). This facility will carry out testing and research on materials capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 1000°C.

CNECC is currently building a demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR) in China. Work began on two demonstration HTR-PM units at China Huaneng Group’s Shidaowan site in December 2012. China Huaneng is the lead organization in the consortium to build the demonstration units together with CNECC and Tsinghua University’s Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology (INET), which is the research and development leader. Chinergy, a joint venture of Tsinghua and CNECC, is the main contractor for the nuclear island. The demonstration plant’s twin HTR-PM units will drive a single 210 MWe turbine. It is expected to begin operating around 2017.

“High-temperature reactors have great potential to provide safe, clean and sustainable energy for the future,” commented Tom Jones, vice-president of Amec Foster Wheeler’s clean energy business. “We hope that our collaboration with CNECC will help the UK and China to realise the potential benefits of this tremendously important technology.”

The British company noted, “It is the first time CNECC has agreed to collaborate with a global engineering consultancy on the deployment of high-temperature reactors in the UK and internationally”.

Amec Foster Wheeler also announced it has expanded its agreement with CNECC subsidiary China Nuclear Power Operation Technology Corporation “to pursue nuclear power plant cable ageing management opportunities in Canada and Europe”.

Rolls-Royce contracts

Rolls-Royce, meanwhile, announced the signing of contracts with CNNC “agreeing specific engineering and consultancy services” to be provided by the British company.

The contracts cover technical training packages, including the utilization of CNNC non-destructive testing experts to support Rolls-Royce in the UK, the company said. “We are very pleased to sign these contracts with CNNC today,” said the president of Rolls-Royce’s nuclear business Harry Holt. “It demonstrates the progress that both companies have made towards the development of a trusted and robust partnership that can benefit the UK and China nuclear industries.”

Rolls-Royce has supplied CNNC with safety-critical instrumentation and control (I&C) technology for over 20 years. It supplied some of the I&C systems for the Qinshan and Daya Bay nuclear power plants.

The two companies signed an initial agreement in June 2014 to explore areas to work more closely together.

Source: World Nuclear News

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