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Interview with AREVA China Nuclear Services: Role evolution for ACNS in China’s Nuclear Industry
2016-9-27
Summit: The 3rd Annual International Nuclear Plant Operation and Maintenance Conference (INPOM2016)

Interviewer: Ms. Cai Yuanyuan, Conference Producer, INNCH International

Interviewee: Mr. Reynald HAZARD, General Manager, AREVA China Nuclear Services (ACNS)

Q1: China now stands as the country with the biggest number of reactor units under construction. And it will be the one with the biggest number of reactor units in-operation, if the plan meets good implementation. And as such, AREVA NP has inaugurated its subsidiary AREVA China Nuclear Services (ACNS) in Haiyan, China, including its engineering office in Shanghai and other ACNS site offices like the one of Daya Bay existing for now more than 20 years. Through several site offices, ACNS provides maintenance services and products to Chinese reactors currently in operation, particularly the ones of CNNC's and CGNPC’s. The creation of ACNS was a key step in AREVA’s development strategy in China and it has strengthened its local presence since after that.

While ACNS is dedicated to offering a comprehensive range of high added-value services for unit upgrades, repairs and support to outages, including services related to engineering consultancy, urgent situation support, inspection solutions, instrumentation & control and electrical systems, as well as modernization activities, for the maintenance market, we wonder, how will ACNS plan out its cooperation with China and will there be any differentiated focus between its cooperation with CNNC and CGNPC?

 

A1: Actually when we first created the ACNS, we wanted to be close to the customers, CGN or CNNC. Our first intention was to contribute during outage operation, with technician and task leaders, involving the operation and, step by step, to meet the needs of the operators’ and the customers’. We have adjusted this model and now we are more focusing on the engineering services, components repairs, technical support and contribution to modifications and maintenance project. One of our key added value is our contribution in case of urgent repair. For this, AREVA NP has a large database of solutions in the past, of repairs done in the U.S. and Europe. Combining the worldwide database and local engineering and project platform, we aim to be the urgent repair services provider.

And we are also targeting to support customers for their investments in the new processes and tools, to support the power plant and its affiliates and develop their portfolio. For services ranging from technical support to consultancy and etc., we will not have any differentiated focuses with CGN and CNNC. Being close to the customer, whether CGN or CNNC, this is the key of reactivity.

 

 

Q2: China’s nuclear developments probably matter more to the rest of the world than they do to China. For the case of China, the future direction of its choice of reactor design domestically could fundamentally change the number of orders for a particular manufacturer or service provider. In general, ACNS provides maintenance services for PWR and CANDU reactors. And as you know, China is currently campaigning its Hualong One and CAP1400 indigenous reactors, which are both of thermal-neutron type. What are the specific influences that China's further development of Hualong One/CAP1400 will have on the strategic planning of ACNS, in your view?

 

A2: The development of Hualong One/CAP1400 will not change the scope of our activity and contributions we can add.

The added value from AREVANP in Chinese market comes from the plant designer’s capacity, and also the primary equipment manufacturing capacity and in fact, we are looking at PWR and CANDU reactors, of which, the systems and equipment use similar technologies of processes and tools. Our design, manufacturing and problem-solving expertise are applicable to any reactor, being PWR, CANDU, or Hualong One and for instance, we are also currently providing services to Hualong Fangchenggang and Fuqing plants.

 

 

Q3: China is switching to the single plant management to the fleet management. At the same time, the number and the type of maintenance challenges will multiply.

ACNS is a Services provider including: Engineering, Technical support, I&C services, BNI products.

In this context, how does ACNS intend to contribute to the coming needs of utilities?

 

A3: We’ve noticed the shift from single plant management to the fleet management, which is a trend of logical organization when you are trying to improve the financial issues and common stock in the nuclear fleet. In the fleet management, you are more able to improve the common competencies for the fleet. Taking the chemical services as an example, group financing of nuclear fleet can effectively absorb the price of implementing chemical services several plants when it would be too expensive for a single plant,

In general, both CNNC and CGN have the global view to develop specific tools with adequate budget, which will in the end improve their profits.

And our main is to support the utilities fleet organizations like CNOC and CNNO.

 

 

Q4: Fukushima incident has resulted to a growing concern of the nuclear safety. And as a response, China’s top economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission, was earlier quoted by Bloomberg as saying “evaluation of nuclear safety and the monitoring of plants will be definitely strengthened”.

For ACNS, it has worked with China’s nuclear groups in nuclear operation and maintenance since 2014. And you must have experienced the nuclear safety culture been penetrated into any work aspect that ACNS is involved in in China. Can you share some of your experiences with us on that?

 

A4: China is in full recognition of the nuclear safety, as there won’t be the nuclear industry at all, if the safety is not there. This is to say, the failure of safety in any single nuclear in this world will directly impact all the plants.

For ACNS, we have people contributing to the outage while we have some others on the specific project, from these work activities, we are seeing that the training, communication and supervision procedures taking place at the site are quite precise and these are what contributing to the safety culture. Safety culture also includes the understanding of power plant environment and this has also been implemented in the project management.

In general, safety culture is achieved through joint teamwork by the engineering team, project team, site team at both physical and psychological levels and, this is obviously being achieved well in China.

  
 
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