China is considering merging two of its largest nuclear power businesses, industry officials have told Reuters. China National Nuclear Corporation and China General Nuclear Power Corporation may form one entity to better compete on bids for reactor construction contracts overseas.
The two companies have previously been rivals, but many believe they could build a stronger brand together. Evidence of this was displayed last year when the two nuclear power businesses jointly bid on a reactor project in the U.K. In addition, the two companies have both begun coordinating on marketing one type of nuclear reactor, the Hualong I.
Plans for the merger have been submitted to the Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, according to Xu Lianyi, a senior expert at the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp, reported Reuters. Officials from both companies stated they were unaware of the merger when contacted by the news agency, but Lianyi stated the merger was "inevitable."
China's heavy use of coal-fired power has been controversial for some time, but the country's rapid move toward cleaner nuclear power is not a strategy welcomed by all. The safety risks surrounding nuclear power like the meltdowns that occurred during the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan are still a major concern. Some industry professionals worry China's safety regulations and overly ambitious construction plans could lead to problems in the future. The country has more than two dozen reactors under construction, and intends to triple its nuclear power generation capacity by 2020.