China and UK to develop floating nuclear reactor

The Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) and Lloyd’s Register Energy have signed a framework agreement to develop China’s first floating vessel to contain a small modular reactor (SMR)

NPIC and Lloyd’s Register Energy will develop China’s first floating vessel to contain a small modular reactor (SMR).
NPIC and Lloyd’s Register Energy will develop China’s first floating vessel to contain a small modular reactor (SMR).

The Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) and UK-headquartered Lloyd’s Register Energy have signed a framework agreement to develop a floating vessel containing a small modular reactor (SMR).

The offshore nuclear power source created under the agreement will be China’s first.

The first contract under the framework agreement will be to develop new nuclear safety regulations, safety guidelines, a nuclear code, and standards for the floating vessel, which will be consistent with offshore and international marine regulations, and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) nuclear safety standards.

Commenting on the agreement, Mark Basset, nuclear director at Lloyd’s Register Energy, said: “NPIC recognises Lloyd’s Register’s unique combination of experience in nuclear, offshore, and marine safety and regulation. Because we apply our expert knowledge to help clients design, construct, and operate capital intensive assets to their highest levels of safety and performance, NPIC has asked us to help them safely achieve this technically challenging offshore nuclear programme.”

A statement from NPIC added: “We believe there is substantial opportunity to further efforts in developing safe, clean, and sustainable power generation for the future, and our latest initiative to develop energy supplies to offshore installations through nuclear power is just one example of how we are seeking to innovate and apply new ways of using nuclear technology for robust power supply. We look forward to working with Lloyd’s Register Energy on this ground-breaking nuclear project. We also believe this framework agreement will create more business opportunities for future cooperation between NPIC and Lloyd’s Register Energy.”

The contract comes a week after Chinese President Xi Jingping and British Prime Minister David Cameron signed a deal agreeing to Chinese investment in a new nuclear power station in Somerset, England. This is the largest inward investment ever in the UK.

France’s EDF and Chinese nuclear consortium, CGN are posed to agree to build the plant, and possibly two subsequent facilities.

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