Lloyd’s Register Energy, an integrity, compliance and specialist risk consulting services group, has announced a co-operation Framework Agreement with the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) in Chengdu, to assist in the design and development of a safe and secure floating vessel containing a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) – a first for China.
Mark Bassett, Nuclear Director at Lloyd’s Register Energy, said: “NPIC recognises Lloyd’s Register’s unique combination of experience in nuclear, offshore and marine safety and regulation. Because we apply our expert knowledge to help clients design, construct and operate capital intensive assets to their highest levels of safety and performance, NPIC have asked us to help them safely achieve this technically challenging offshore nuclear programme.”
The first contract under this Framework Agreement is to develop new nuclear safety regulations, safety guidelines, and nuclear code and standards for the floating vessel, that are consistent with Offshore and International Marine Regulations and the IAEA Nuclear Safety Standards.
NPIC states: “We believe there is substantial opportunity to further efforts in developing safe, clean and sustainable power generation for the future, and our latest initiative to develop energy supplies to offshore installations through nuclear power is just one example of how we are seeking to innovate and apply new ways of using nuclear technology for robust power supply. We look forward to working with Lloyd’s Register Energy on this ground-breaking nuclear project. We also believe this Framework Agreement will create more business opportunities for future cooperation between NPIC and Lloyd’s Register Energy.”
Melvin Zhang, Lloyd’s Register Energy’s Vice-President of Strategic Development for Greater China, said: “This marks the beginning of a ground-breaking initiative for the Chinese nuclear industry, taking nuclear power generation offshore.” Zhang highlights: “It is also excellent news for the people of China and those working offshore in Chinese waters with the need for consistent and safe power supply. This project is expected to set the pace for how nuclear power can be used and applied to support sustainable power generation in both energy and marine sectors.”
There is no doubt that China is one of the countries at the forefront of the emerging nuclear renaissance, looking to apply nuclear power generation safely and as a long-term sustainable power source.
Bassett comments: “Elite operators of high-risk assets recognise the value of independent technical support in nuclear projects that can be provided by our teams worldwide. Our work in nuclear and recent contract success the world over, demonstrates real momentum in our aim to help nuclear operators and regulators achieve high standards of nuclear safety and performance.
“Nuclear companies are committed to a process of continuous improvement and innovation. We believe Lloyd’s Register Energy can contribute to that.”
The contract comes at a time when last week David Cameron and President Xi Jingping signed a deal agreeing to Chinese investment in a new nuclear power station in Somerset. It is the largest inward investment ever in the UK. France’s EDF and CGN, a Chinese nuclear consortium, are poised to agree to build the plant, and possibly two more.
The combination of Lloyd’s Register Energy and China’s NPIC is a powerful alliance to support the development of floating nuclear power generation. The floating vessel will be used in Chinese waters to supply electrical power to offshore installations.