China, Thailand agree to nuclear energy cooperation

Kanchanarat (left) and Bekri shake on the agreement (Image: NEA)
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China and Thailand have a signed an agreement to cooperate in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The agreement was signed in Beijing on 29 March by Nur Bekri, director of China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), and Thai energy minister Anantaporn Kanchanarat.

According to an NEA statement on 1 April, the two countries also discussed bilateral cooperation on nuclear power, power networking, power trading and others areas of potential cooperation.

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“China is very willing to provide Thailand with the most advanced, most economical and safest nuclear power technology, as well as equipment, management experience and quality service,” China General Nuclear (CGN) said the same day.

CGN added that China and Thailand had cooperated in nuclear energy over recent years. In particular, China has provided training for hundreds of Thai nuclear professionals and technical personnel.

Bekri said he hoped that through the agreement, China and Thailand can “strengthen communication, enhance understanding and make greater progress in nuclear cooperation”.

Thailand’s National Energy Policy Council commissioned a feasibility study for a nuclear power plant in the country and in 2007 approved a Power Development Plan for 2007-2021, including the construction of 4000 MWe of nuclear generating capacity, starting up in 2020-21.

The new Power Development Plan 2010-30, approved in 2010, envisages five 1000 MWe units starting up over 2020-28.

In June 2015, CGN said Thailand was carrying out an independent review of the Hualong One reactor technology. The design, CGN anticipates, could make Thailand’s short-list for possible deployment in any future nuclear power program.

Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding – Thailand’s largest private power company – agreed in December 2015 to take a 10% stake in the two Hualong One reactors being built as Phase II of CGN’s Fangchenggang nuclear power plant in China’s Guangxi province.

-World Nuclear News

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