China National Nuclear Corporation

The China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC; Chinese: 中国核工业集团公司; pinyin: Zhōngguó Hé Gōngyè Jítuán Gōngsī) is a state-owned entity founded in 1955 in Beijing.[1][4][5] CNNC's president and vice-president are appointed by the Premier of the State Council. However the CNNC is a self-supporting economic corporation, not a government administrative body. It oversees all aspects of China's civilian and military nuclear programs. According to its own mission statement, it "is a main part of the national nuclear technology industry and a leading element of national strategic nuclear forces and nuclear energy development."[6] CNNC is a nationwide industrial conglomerate integrating science, technology, industry, and international trade.

China National Nuclear Corporation
Native name
IndustryNuclear technology
PredecessorMinistry of Nuclear Industry
HeadquartersBeijing, China
Key people
Sun Qin (President)[2]
ProductsNuclear weapons, nuclear power generation
Number of employees
SubsidiariesChina Nuclear International Uranium Corporation


The Ministry of Nuclear Industry built China's first atom bomb, hydrogen bomb and nuclear submarine. It functioned as a government bureau for the national nuclear industry and reported directly to the State Council. It oversaw China's nuclear-related corporations, manufacturers, institutions, research institutes, and plants, including those related to nuclear weapons. It was responsible for the design and operation of nuclear power plants; nuclear fuel production and supply, including the processing of natural uranium, uranium conversion and enrichment, fuel assembly fabrication, spent fuel reprocessing, and nuclear waste disposal.

In 1988 the Ministry of Nuclear Industry was re-organised and became the CNNC. The corporatization was partly carried out to gain funds from outside of the government via exports.[7]

In the mid 1990s, CNNC had 300,000 employees and managed 200 organisations.[7]

Kang Rixin, a senior general manager is currently being investigated (as of August 10, 2009) for $260 million that was earmarked for the construction of three nuclear plants and allegedly used the funds for the stock market sustaining heavy losses. He is also accused of accepting bribes from a foreign company that intended to build nuclear power stations in China.[8][9]

As of 2014 CNNC has 100,000 employees and 110 subsidiaries. It has 4 nuclear power plants with 9 reactors in operation with a generation capacity of 6.5 GWe, with a further 12 reactors under construction.[1]

In June 2015, CNNC announced it would aim to raise 13.19 billion Chinese yuan in an initial public offering, that if successful, would be the largest in China in almost four years previously.[10]

In September, CNNC announced a project with the UK's National Nuclear Laboratory to create the Joint Research and Innovation Centre. The centre will investigate aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle. The UK and China will jointly fund the project over five years at the cost of £50 million.[11]

As of 2017, CNNC was developing a 400 MWth heat-only reactor for district heating.[12]

In 2018, CNNC took over nuclear power plant builder China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Corp.[13]

Reactor designs

Pressurized water reactors

The CNP-300 pressurized water reactor was the first reactor design developed domestically in China. The first unit began operation at Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant in 1991. A larger version of the reactor, the CNP-600, was installed at Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant, with two units operational from 2015 and 2016, respectively. A three loop, 1000-MW version of the CNP reactor, the CNP-1000, was under development since the 1990s, but the effort has since shifted towards the development of the more advanced generation-III ACP-1000.[14]

Since 2011 CNNC has been progressively merging its ACP-1000 nuclear power station design[15] with the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) ACPR-1000 design, while allowing some differences, under direction of the Chinese nuclear regulator. Both are three-loop designs originally based on the same French design, but now have different nuclear cores.[16] The first two ACP1000 units will be built at Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant.[15] In early 2014 it was announced that the merged design was moving from preliminary design to detailed design. Power output will be 1150 MWe, with a 60-year design life, and would use a combination of passive and active safety systems with a double containment. Initially the merged design was to be called the ACC-1000,[17][18][19] but ultimately it was named Hualong One. In August 2014 the Chinese nuclear regulator review panel classified the design as a Generation III reactor design, with independently owned intellectual property rights.[20][21] The first units to be constructed will be Fuqing 5 and 6, Fangjiashan 3 and 4, and a build has been proposed in Argentina.[22][23][24]

Advanced CANDU reactor

In September 2016 it was announced that SNC-Lavalin has signed an agreement in principle with CNNC and the Shanghai Electric Group to design, market and build the advanced CANDU reactor. Its ability to use reprocessed uranium will reduce China's stock of spent nuclear fuel.[25]


CNNC has developed a pool-type light-water reactor for district heating, called the DHR-400 (District Heating Reactor 400 MWt). It operates at low temperature and air pressure. so is easy to operate and decommission.[26] Building cost is 1.5 billion yuan ($230 million), taking three years to build. It is well suited for the existing centralised heating systems of northern Chinese cities, currently often coal fueled.[27]

In February 2019, China's State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) signed a cooperation agreement with the Baishan municipal government in Jilin province for the Baishan Nuclear Energy Heating Demonstration Project, which would use a DHR-400.[28]

See also


  1. ^ a b c CNNC (27 January 2014). "CNNC: The Main Force of Nuclear Power Development in China". UK Trade & Industry (Market Briefing). pp. 64–98. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Managements". Official website of CNNC. Archived from the original on 8 May 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  3. ^ "About us". China National Nuclear Corporation.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b "China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC)". Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  8. ^ BBC News - Beijing airport ex-head executed
  9. ^ China’s Rapid Reactor Expansion Raises Concerns KEITH BRADSHER, Published: December 15, 2009
  10. ^, China National Nuclear aims to raise $2.13 billion in largest IPO since 2011, Reuters, 31 May 2015
  11. ^ "UK-China Joint Research and Innovation Centre". National Nuclear Laboratory. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  12. ^ "China looks to nuclear option to ease winter heating woes". Reuters. 2017-12-10. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  13. ^ "More consolidation for China's nuclear industry". Nuclear Engineering International. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Chinese reactor design evolution - Nuclear Engineering International". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  15. ^ a b Wang Yanjun; et al. (22 May 2013). "I&C application status in NPPs in China" (PDF). China Nuclear Power Engineering Co. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Nuclear Power in China". World Nuclear Association. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  17. ^ "CGN Chairman He Yu Makes Proposal for Promoting Export of China-designed Nuclear Power Technology ACC1000". CGN. 6 March 2014. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  18. ^ "Nuclear Power in China". World Nuclear Association. April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  19. ^ Caroline Peachey (22 May 2014). "Chinese reactor design evolution". Nuclear Engineering International. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  20. ^ "China's new nuclear baby". World Nuclear News. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  21. ^ "Independent Gen-III Hualong-1 reactor technology passes national review". CGN. 22 August 2014. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  22. ^ "Hualong One deployment at Fuqing 5". World Nuclear News. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Hualong One selected for Argentina". World Nuclear News. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  24. ^ Charlie Zhu and David Stanway (6 March 2015). "'Made in China' nuclear reactors a tough sell in global market". Reuters. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  25. ^ Marotte, Bertrand (2016-09-22). "SNC-Lavalin strikes deal to build nuclear reactors in China". The Globe and Mail.
  26. ^ "CNNC completes design of district heating reactor". World Nuclear News. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  27. ^ Stanway, David (10 December 2017). "China looks to nuclear option to ease winter heating woes". Reuters. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  28. ^ "China signs agreement for nuclear heating demonstration project". Nuclear Engineering International. 14 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.

Further reading

  • The Impact of Government Restructuring on Chinese Nuclear Arms Control and Nonproliferation Policymaking, Wen L. Hsu, The Nonproliferation Review, Fall 1999, p. 155.

External links

Bradwell nuclear power station

Bradwell nuclear power station is a partially decommissioned Magnox power station located on the Dengie peninsula at the mouth of the River Blackwater, Essex.

As of 2016, China General Nuclear Power Group and China National Nuclear Corporation are considering Bradwell for the site of a new nuclear power station.


The CFR-600 is a sodium-cooled pool-type fast-neutron nuclear reactor under construction in Xiapu County, Fujian province, China, on Changbiao Island.

It is a generation IV demonstration project by the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

The project is also known as Xiapu fast reactor pilot project.

Construction of the reactor started in late 2017.

The reactor will have an output of 1500 MWth thermal power and 600 MW electric power.The CFR-600 is part of the Chinese plan to reach a closed nuclear fuel cycle.

Fast neutron reactors are considered the main technology in the future for nuclear power in China.

A larger commercial-scale reactor, the CFR-1000, is also planned.On the same site, a second 600 MW fast reactor is planned to be built in the future, a 600 MW HTR-PM600 and four 1000 MW CAP1000 are proposed.

CNNC International Limited

CNNC International Limited (中核國際有限公司) is a Chinese company listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It is a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corporation ("CNNC", Chinese: 中国核工业集团公司), and is primarily focused on developing overseas uranium resources.


The CNP-300 is a pressurized water nuclear reactor developed by the China National Nuclear Corporation.

It is China's first commercial nuclear reactor design.

The reactor has a thermal capacity of 999 MW and a gross electrical capacity of 325 MW, with a net output of about 300 MWe.

Development of the reactor began in the 1970s, based on a nuclear submarine reactor design.

The first CNP-300 unit started operations in Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant in 1991.The CNP-300 was the first Chinese nuclear reactor to be exported, with the installation of the first unit at Chashma Nuclear Power Plant in Pakistan.

The unit began operation in 2000.

Another unit was completed in 2011 and other two reactors are under construction at the same plant.


The CNP-600 is a pressurized water nuclear reactor developed by the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

The reactor has a gross electrical capacity of 650 MW.

It is a generation II reactor based on China's first commercial nuclear reactor design, the CNP-300, and on the M310 reactor design used in Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant.The first CNP-600 unit began operation at Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant in 2002, with other 3 units coming online between 2004 and 2011.

There are only 2 CNP-600 reactors currently under construction, both at Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant.

An advanced version of the design, the ACP-600, is currently being developed by the CNNC. The new design will have improved safety systems and an extended design life of 60 years.

Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant

Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant in Tangxing Village of Haiwei Township, Changjiang Li Autonomous County in the province of Hainan. It is the first power plant of its kind in the province.

China Atomic Energy Authority

China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA; Chinese: 国家原子能机构; pinyin: Guójiā Yuánzǐnéng Jīgòu) is the regulatory agency that oversees the development of nuclear energy in China.

China Institute of Atomic Energy

The China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE), formerly the Institute of Atomic Energy of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is the main research institute of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

Founded in 1950, it conducts research in the fields of nuclear physics, nuclear engineering, radiochemistry, and in the development of nuclear technology.

China Nuclear International Uranium Corporation

The China Nuclear International Uranium Corporation (中国国核海外铀资源开发公司) (abbreviated as Sino-U or SinoU) is a Chinese Government owned corporation involved in prospecting, and eventually mining, overseas sources of uranium.

In late 2006, SinoU was spun off from the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), China's state owned nuclear processing, mining, plant operation, and research agency, where it was previously the Overseas Uranium Exploitation Department of the CNNC.

China Yangtze Power

China Yangtze Power Co., Ltd. (CYPC), known as Yangtze Power is a Chinese utilities company, headquartered in Beijing. The company is a component of SSE 180 Index. A controlling share is held by the parent company China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG, Chinese: 中国长江三峡集团公司), a state-owned enterprise under State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.

The enterprise produces and sells energy to customers. China Yangtze Power was founded on 4 November 2002 and was brought on 18 November 2003 to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. China Yangtze Power originated from a cooperation of Chinese enterprises: Huaneng Power International, China National Nuclear Corporation, China National Petroleum Corporation, Gezhouba Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Group as well as the Changjiang Institute of Survey, Planning, Design and Research.

Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant

The Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant (simplified Chinese: 福清核电站; traditional Chinese: 福清核電站; pinyin: Fúqīng Hédiànzhàn) is a nuclear power plant in Fuqing, Fujian Province, China.

The plant is located on the coast of Xinghua Bay, near Qianxue Village, Sanshan Town.

The station has four 1,089 megawatt (MW) CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors (PWRs).

The CPR-1000 is an advanced PWR design developed by China from the Areva-designed PWRs at the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant.

The plant was jointly constructed and is operated by China National Nuclear Corporation (51%), China Huadian Corp. (39%) and the Fujian Investment & Development Co Ltd. (10%).

Construction of the first unit began on 21 November 2008 and was completed in 2014.

First concrete for Unit 2 was poured on 17 June 2009 and the unit was started in October 2015.

First concrete for Unit 3 was poured on 31 December 2010.

Construction of Unit 4 was to begin in 2011, but was delayed until November 2012 by China's nuclear safety review after the Japanese nuclear accident.

In November 2014 it was announced that units 5 and 6 would be of the Hualong One (updated CPR-1000) design, with unit 5 scheduled to be in operation about 2019.

The first concrete was poured for Fuqing 5 on 7 May 2015.

Hualong One

The Hualong One, also known as Hualong-1 or HPR1000, is a Chinese pressurized water nuclear reactor design.

The Hualong One was developed by the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) and the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) based on the ACPR1000 and the ACP1000 designs.

Both are three-loop designs originally based on the same French design.

Kang Rixin

Kang Rixin (Chinese: 康日新; born August 1953) is a former chief manager of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and a former high-ranking member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the People's Republic of China.

Karachi Nuclear Power Complex

The Karachi Nuclear Power Complex or KNPC is located in Paradise Point, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It consists of the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission's Control & Instrumentation Analysis Lab (CIAL KARACHI). Two new nuclear power plants, KANUPP-2 and KANUPP-3, are also under construction at the site. When complete, the complex of civilian nuclear power plants will produce over 2000 MW of electricity. The International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and inspects the complex. The plant is under construction by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and is financed by the IAEA, the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, the China National Nuclear Corporation, and the China Atomic Energy Authority.

Nuclear power in China

As of March 2019, China has 46 nuclear reactors in operation with a capacity of 42.8 GW and 11 under construction with a capacity of 10.8 GW.

Additional reactors are planned for an additional 36 GW.

China was planning to have 58 GW of capacity by 2020. However, few plants have commenced construction since 2015, and it is now unlikely that this target will be met.Nuclear power contributed 3.9% of the total Chinese electricity production in 2017, with 247 TWh.China ranks fourth in the world in total nuclear power capacity installed, and third by nuclear reactors in operation. Around one tenth of global nuclear power is generated in China.

Due to increasing concerns about air quality, climate change and fossil fuel shortages, nuclear power has been looked into as an alternative to coal.

China's National Development and Reform Commission has indicated the intention to raise the percentage of China's electricity produced by nuclear power from the current 3% to 6% by 2020 (compared to 20% in the United States and 74% in France).

More long-term plans for future capacity are 120-150 GW by 2030.

China has two major nuclear power companies, the China National Nuclear Corporation operating mainly in north-east China, and the China General Nuclear Power Group, - formerly known as China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, - operating mainly in south-east China.China aims to maximize self-reliance on nuclear reactor technology manufacturing and design, although international cooperation and technology transfer are also encouraged.

Advanced pressurized water reactors such as the Hualong One and the AP1000 are the mainstream technology in the near future, and the Hualong One is also planned to be exported.

By mid-century fast neutron reactors are seen as the main technology, with a planned 1400 GW capacity by 2100.

China is also involved in the development of nuclear fusion reactors through its participation in the ITER project, having constructed an experimental nuclear fusion reactor known as EAST located in Hefei, as well as research and development into the thorium fuel cycle as a potential alternative means of nuclear fission.

Sanmen Nuclear Power Station

The Sanmen Nuclear Power Station (Chinese: 三门核电站) is a nuclear power station in Sanmen County, Zhejiang, China. Sanmen is the first implementation of the AP1000 pressurized water reactor (PWR) developed by Westinghouse Electric Company.

State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation

State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation Limited (abbreviation SNPTC) is a Chinese state owned enterprise in nuclear power. The company develops nuclear technology and is one of the country's three operators of nuclear power plants.


TerraPower is a nuclear reactor design company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, United States.

TerraPower is developing a class of nuclear fast reactors called the traveling wave reactor (TWR).

Unlike standard light water reactors such as pressurized water reactors or boiling water reactors that operate by using enriched uranium as fuel, TWR uses depleted uranium, with an estimated period of operation without refueling spanning 40 to 60 years.

The byproduct of the Uranium-235 fission can be re-used for other TWRs.

In September 2015 TerraPower signed an agreement with the China National Nuclear Corporation to build a prototype 600 MWe reactor unit at Xiapu in Fujian province, China during 2018 to 2025. Commercial power plants, generating about 1150 MWe, are planned for the late 2020s.

Xudabao Nuclear Power Plant

The Xudabao Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power station under construction in Xudabao Village, Haibin County, Xingcheng, Huludao, on the coast of Liaoning Province, in northeast China.

It was initially planned to have six 1000-MW AP1000 light water reactors, but currently only the first two are still planned and the further 2 units would be VVER-1200.

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) owns 70% of the project, along with Datang International Power Generation Co. (20%), and State Development and Investment Corporation (10%).

China Nuclear Power Engineering Company (CNPEC) is the general contractor for the project, which is expected to cost some CNY 110 billion ($16 billion).

Work on the site began in 2010, but was suspended for several years after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

In 2014, the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) granted approval for the first two units.

In 2016, China Nuclear Industry 22 Construction Company (CNI22), a subsidiary of China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation (CNECC) signed an EPC contract for the first two units.China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Atomstroyexport signed the detailed contract for the construction of two VVER-1200s (Xudabao 3 and 4) on 7 March 2019. Construction of Xudabao 3 will start in October 2021. Commercial operation of both units is expected in 2028.

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