China pushes ahead with nuclear propulsion plans

China pushes ahead with nuclear propulsion plans

China is moving ahead with long held plans to develop nuclear powered vessels. State run energy giant CNOOC has signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) to look at ways to power the offshore industry.

CGN has been developing a small modular nuclear reactor called the ACPR50S for maritime use, which would be able to provide power to offshore oil and gas exploration and production.

CGN will collaborate the project with China’s shipbuilding major China Shipbuilding Industry Co (CSIC).

In October last year, UK classification society Lloyd’s Register signed with Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) to support the design and development of a floating nuclear power plant utilising a small modular reactor.

China’s maritime community has long held ideas of developing nuclear-powered vessels. Former Cosco boss Capt Wei Jiafu was a big believer in the potential of nuclear power for shipping, expounding on the matter at a conference alongside the 2009 edition of Marintec China.

Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.

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  1. Avatar
    Capt. Ed Enos
    January 16, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Oh this isn’t good for anyone. Given China’s reputation for building junk and doing it on the cheap, this should cause everyone to monitor closely what they do. This specific project, given the likelihood of accidents or failure (or both), may have dire environmental consequences or impacts yet unknown. Let us hope China actually “steps up” their game here. I certainly hope and pray I’m wrong. But given their well documented efforts so far, I’m not optimistic. Chinese shipyards can hardly launch a commercial vessel without problems. These are relatively easy projects. How will they safely manage a complex nuclear construction project? Given their lack of honest transparency regarding internal economic/political/social issues, how will we even know when they are having problems?

    1. Avatar
      Syd Gibbs
      January 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      Well said Capt. Ed Enos, I have sailed in a few Chinese built vessels and very true what you say, very poor quality to put it in a nutshell.

  2. Sam Chambers
    Sam Chambers
    January 19, 2016 at 10:54 am

    As a friend said to me: China, rigs and nuclear power – what could go wrong?!!