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China Will Launch Its First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor

June 14, 2017 (EIRNS)—Within the next few weeks, China will launch a pilot plant of its small module reactor (SMR), dubbed "Nimble Dragon," or Linglong. It is being designed for deployment in isolated regions, onboard ships, and even on aircraft, reports Reuters. In fact, China is also planning to deploy small floating nuclear reactors near islands in the South China sea, which could share some design work with the land-based SMR. The pilot plant will be placed on the island of Hainan. This is also where China’s new space launch facility, Wenchang, is located.

The small reactors, under 300 Megawatts, will be about the size of a bus, and fit on a truck. Russia, Argentina, and the United States are also developing SMRs, and, like China, plan to export them. The full-sized "China Dragon," or Hualong, is China’s domestically-designed and -manufactured commercial nuclear power reactor, and is also intended for domestic use and for export.

"Many countries intend to cooperate with CNNC’s 'two dragons going out to sea,’" CNNC [China National Nuclear Corporation] vice president Yu Peigen told a briefing last month. So far, Pakistan, Iran, Britain, Indonesia, Mongolia, Brazil, Egypt, and Canada have been in discussions with CNNC, and are potential customers.