Russia signed nuclear deal with China

Publish date: January 15, 1998

Written by: Igor Kudrik

The well-expected contract between Russia and China on delivering nuclear power plant was signed on December 29, 1997. The contract turned out to be the biggest Christmas gift Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy (Minatom) ever received.

The cost of the deal is not clear yet. Russia says it is worth 3-4 billion USD, while China gives a figure of 2 billion USD for equipment plus unspecified construction costs.

The nuclear power plant’s two VVER-1000 reactor units will be erected in Lianyungang, a coastal city north-west of Shanghai, and are expected to be in operation in 2004 and 2005, reported the official Xinhua news agency.

According to Vladimir Zakharov, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy, under the agreement Russia is to supply equipment and training, but individual equipment purchases still have to be negotiated.

The cost of the contact may change if China decided that its own industrial base can supply some of the equipment.

The contract is the product of a 1992 nuclear-cooperation agreement signed by President Boris Yeltsin during a visit to China. A more detailed negotiations, which resulted in today’s contract, were held while Yeltsin was in China in November 1997.

According to a separate Xinhua report, China expects its power generation to rise 5,2% this year to 1.135 trillion kilowatt-hours.

Chinese Electric Power Minister Shi Dazhen was quoted as saying the power industry must maintain an annual growth rate of 5% to 6% to support economical growth.

In November 1997, the White House cleared the way for US nuclear sales to China and reached a general agreement on delivery of around 100 American nuclear generating units worth 50 billion USD. Before that, the US nuclear suppliers were barred from selling to China due to concerns it was delivering nuclear weapons technology to Iran, Pakistan and other countries.