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China to set up third-generation nuclear power company

Two Chinese nuclear power giants plan to build a joint venture to combine technologies on China's third-generation nuclear reactor design, known as the Hualong One, a source familiar with the matter said Thursday.

China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation decided to set up the company to reduce competition in exporting Hualong One into overseas markets, according to the source, who declined to be identified.

The plan has been forwarded to authorities and a coordination meeting will be held soon. "If everything goes well, the joint venture will be set up before the end of this year," the source said.

The two companies jointly started the R&D of Hualong One in 2013 based on their respective technologies, and the general plan passed inspection by a national expert panel in August 2014.

In May 2015, construction on the first pilot project using Hualong One technology started in Fuqing, southeast China's Fujian Province.

On Wednesday, CGN and Electricite de France (EDF) signed a strategic investment agreement to build a nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in southwestern England, in the presence of British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is on a state visit to Great Britain.

CGN and EDF also plan to cooperate on another two British nuclear projects at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex. Bradwell plans to use the Hualong One design after the technology passes British regulatory inspections.

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