Major Players in World Nuclear Market Merge

Nuclear Energy

China’s State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission reorganized and transferred China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Corp. (CNEC) to China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) on January 31, forming a new giant in the nuclear power industry.

The combined company is estimated to have nearly $100 billion in combined assets and almost 150,000 employees, according to data compiled by Reuters using company filings and website information.

Even before the merger, state-owned CNNC was a large enterprise. Since its founding in 1955, the company has established itself as a leader in nuclear energy development. It successfully constructed the first nuclear power plant on the Chinese mainland, and built a complete nuclear technology industry framework.

CNEC was founded in 1999, incorporating some enterprises previously affiliated with CNNC. It specializes in the engineering and construction of nuclear power projects, and has completed construction of pressurized water reactors, experimental fast-breeder reactors, and heavy water reactors. The company is said to be capable of engineering and constructing reactors with capacities ranging from 300 MW to 1,000 MW, and has the capability to construct up to 40 nuclear reactors simultaneously.

Although CNEC is focused on nuclear power, it also has a civil and industrial engineering arm that has completed urban, municipal, communications, transportation, energy, and petrochemical projects. Its clean-energy business has worked on hydroelectric, wind, photovoltaic solar, and power grid projects.

For its part, CNNC is organized into eight industrial sectors: nuclear power; nuclear power generation; nuclear fuel; natural uranium; nuclear environmental protection; application of nuclear technologies; non-nuclear civilian products; and new energy sources. It has also established six supporting institutions: a general technology institute; a general economics institute; a nuclear industry university; an atomic energy company; a financial company; and a public information center.

CNNC is China’s only exporter of nuclear power plants. The newest and most advanced reactor that CNNC offers is the HPR 1000 (also known as the Hualong One). On January 30, CNNC announced that it had installed the reactor pressure vessel for Fuqing 5—the first HPR 1000 unit being constructed.Other HPR 1000 units under construction in China include Fuqing 6 and Fangchenggang Units 3 and 4. All of the units are expected to enter service by 2020.