China, France celebrate 40th anniversary of nuclear energy cooperation
Published: Mar 29, 2023 10:48 PM
Photo: Courtesy of China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry of National Defence

Photo: Courtesy of China Atomic Energy Authority 

The 40th anniversary of the nuclear energy cooperation between China and France was marked on Wednesday with representative from both sides reviewing the decades-long history of cooperation, showcasing the achievements and potential of further expanding cooperative relations.

At the anniversary event, Liu Jing, deputy director of China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) said that China and France have worked together to build landmark projects such as Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant, Ling'ao Nuclear Power Plant and Taishan Nuclear Power Plant thanks to great attention and care from leaders from both countries over the past 40 years.

Meanwhile, fruitful achievements have been reached and the profound friendship have been established through the joint projects such as the international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER), also known as the world's largest "artificial sun," as well as aging management of nuclear power plants.

"The peaceful use of nuclear energy cooperation has become an important part of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and France, and technological cooperation has injected new connotation and vitality into the nuclear energy cooperation between the two nations," Liu said.

Liu emphasized that it has become a common challenge faced by the international community in coping with climate change, ensuring energy security and promoting global economic recovery. Both China and France consider nuclear energy as an important option to build a clean, low-carbon energy system and achieve their goals of carbon-peaking and carbon-neutrality.

Faced with the opportunities and challenges of global nuclear energy development, CAEA will further promote comprehensive cooperation between the two sides in advanced nuclear technology research and development, diversified applications of nuclear technology and other areas, to make greater contributions to the safety, innovation, and sustainable development of the nuclear energy industry in both countries and the world.

Since China and France signed their first cooperation agreement in 1982, the two countries have adhered to the principle of attaching equal importance to scientific and technological cooperation and industrial cooperation, and conducted fruitful cooperation in the front and back ends of the nuclear fuel cycle, reactors and nuclear safety, making important contributions to the economic and social development of the two countries.

On industrial cooperation, the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant jointly built by the two countries was the first nuclear power unit introduced to China, and the Ling'ao Nuclear Power Plant has kept the record of the highest number of consecutive days of safe operation of nuclear power plants in China.

In scientific and technological cooperation, the two countries have set up seven collaborative laboratories in the fields such as aging and life management of nuclear power plants, fast reactor technology, serious accident management, radioactive waste management and nuclear fusion. So far, the two countries have jointly carried out more than 500 thematic cooperation projects and have sent more than 1,000 experts to exchange for further study and discussions.

In terms of policy exchanges, think tanks of the two countries have jointly conducted policy studies on the future development direction of nuclear energy technology and the development trend of the international nuclear energy market.

The CAEA and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) have established a mechanism of the China-France coordination committee on nuclear energy cooperation, which regularly exchanges views on major international nuclear issues, the latest progress of nuclear energy development and relevant policies of the two countries, and guides domestic enterprises and public institutions in the implementation of cooperation projects between China and France.