China has struck an agreement with Chicago-based Exelon Group in which instructors will provide consulting and training services to an arm of state-owned China National Nuclear Corp., providing the Chinese with an opportunity to absorb western expertise and offering the U.S. firm access to what was one of the fastest-growing nuclear power markets prior to the March Fukushima disaster. From The Wall Street Journal:
As part of the deal disclosed on Friday, instructors from Chicago-based Exelon will be stationed at Qinshan Nuclear Power Station in China’s eastern Zhejiang province. The initial consulting deal is a small one and is slated to last only through mid-December, though Exelon said it could subsequently grow to include a variety of services for China’s nascent nuclear industry.
“It’s our first real entry into supporting this nuclear market, which for us is huge,” said Thomas P. Mundy, president of Exelon Nuclear Partners, in an interview. “We’re dealing with one of the largest [state-owned enterprises] in the country … to have their interest and their desire for our support and now having a contract with them gets our foot in the door.”
China’s nuclear power industry continues to move forward with development plans despite the safety concerns raised by the recent crisis in Japan. Today, China Daily reported that China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group is in talks to acquire London-listed Kalahari Minerals as it seeks new sources of uranium to meet rising demand for nuclear power.