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China-Russia nuclear project presents huge possibilities: expert

An expert on the China-Russia nuclear project says the ongoing collaboration between the two countries presents huge possibilities, with the joint program facilitating the construction of advanced, high quality reactors.

In May, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin gave the green light to begin the construction on four nuclear reactors in China, launching a joint project in the peaceful usage of atomic energy.

As the largest nuclear cooperation project between the two countries, the program includes building some new units at two major Chinese power plants in the provinces of Jiangsu and Liaoning, respectively the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant and Xudabu Nuclear Power Plant.

The new units of Tianwan and Xudabu will use the third-generation nuclear power technology. Compared with second-generation units, the prevention of accidents is a prerequisite for the design of third-generation nuclear power plants. These new units are also said to be able to significantly reduce the emission of radioactive materials.

Evgeny Pakermanov, a senior staff member of Russia's state-run nuclear company Rosatom, has extensive experience collaborating with his Chinese colleagues in joint projects in the industry.

"This collaboration presents us with huge possibilities. Our Chinese partners are providing the rhythm. They are building fast. They build with quality. The reactors we build together are the most successful, the most effective, and everybody has recognized it," said Pakermanov, head of the Rusatom Overseas, Russia's main exporter of nuclear energy technology.

The China-Russia collaboration in peaceful usage of nuclear energy started three decades ago. Up till now, many reactors built with Russian technologies can be found across China, with the nuclear power plant in Tianwan being the largest one.

Such practical collaboration is anticipated to last long, and experts say that the future of nuclear energy lies in fusion reactors where scientists from both countries are working closely together.

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is a multi-billion-dollar project regarded as the ideal way to solve the energy dilemma in the future, which is being jointly constructed by China, the EU, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

Among ITER facilities are the Russia's latest nuclear fusion test bed T-15MD in Moscow and China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) in Hefei City of the eastern Chinese province of Anhui.

One of the groundbreaking experiments took place on May 28 at the EAST located at the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Chinese scientists managed to keep the EAST by achieving plasma temperature at 120 million Celsius for 101 seconds and 160 million Celsius for 20 seconds, breaking a previous record.

Expert said the success of the experiment is a milestone in reaching the goal of keeping the temperature at a stable level for a long time.

Dubbed "artificial sun," EAST is designed to replicate the nuclear fusion process that occurs naturally in the sun and stars to provide almost infinite clean energy through controlled nuclear fusion.


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