National Nuclear Laboratory


Wednesday 15 July 2015

NNL Signs First Research Contract with Chinese Firm

NNL is pleased to announce that the company has signed a research contract with China Nuclear Power Engineering Company Limited (CNPE) – a subsidiary company of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).  The contract is NNL’s first with a Chinese company and follows several visits over the past year by NNL staff to China, and reciprocal visits to the UK by Chinese nuclear executives. During one of those previous visits, NNL and CNNC signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2014 at a signing ceremony in London. As well as being a notable first for NNL, this is also the first contract CNNC or one of its subsidiaries have signed with a UK company for nuclear work to be undertaken in the UK.

The workscope will cover various aspects of reactor design, including consideration of environmental impact, materials selection and the corrosion properties of relevant materials during use in reactor systems.

NNL Managing Director Paul Howarth said:

“This contract marks an important milestone for NNL in terms of the relationship which we have with the nuclear industry in China. Over the past two years we have been talking to Chinese colleagues about different ways in which we can help them, based on the wealth of experience we have of nuclear plant operation and performance in the UK. A great deal of excellent work has been done by many colleagues in NNL over that period and I am grateful to everyone who has helped to play a part in getting us to this point. I am delighted to see the signing of this contract and I hope it will be the first of many which we are able to sign with Chinese customers over the months and years to come.”

CNPE Deputy General Manager Jiang Hong commented:

“This contract is part of CNNC’s ongoing efforts to introduce its nuclear technology into the UK market. We recognise that support from NNL and other UK nuclear companies is an essential part of these efforts. We hope that this contract serves as a starting point for further and wider  collaboration with NNL as well as other nuclear companies in the UK and will help to stimulate the promotion of CNNC’s nuclear technology across the entire UK nuclear industry.”