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China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation (CNEIC)

Last Modified: July 12, 2012
Other Name: 中国原子能工业公司
Location: Beijing, China
Subordinate To: China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC)
Facility Status: Operational

China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation (CNEIC) is directly owned by the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and is authorized to import and export both small- and large-scale nuclear power and technology equipment.[1] It is the only company in China that is authorized to import and export products related to the nuclear fuel cycle. The corporation frequently acts as an agent between foreign and domestic companies and has taken an active role in a majority of nuclear power plants in operation or under construction in China. CNEIC acted as the main broker for the acquisition of CANada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) reactors for the Qinshan III.[2]

CNEIC's exports include U3O8, natural uranium hexafluoride, low enriched uranium hexafluoride, research reactors, their components and other related products. It is also currently the exclusive supplier of Pakistan’s Chashma nuclear complex.[3] For China’s domestic power plants, CNEIC imports natural uranium, low enriched uranium products, nuclear fuel components, and equipment for large-scale projects such as Guangdong Province’s Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station, among others.[4]

Since its establishment in 1980, CNEIC has exported a miniature neutron source reactor to Ghana, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria.[5] These five reactors along with China’s four domestic ones use highly enriched uranium (HEU). In 2005, China and the U.S. Department of Energy announced that all nine reactors would become part of the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) program.[6]

CNEIC is the entity which sold about 5,000 specialized ring magnets to Pakistan's Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), part of that country's unsafeguarded uranium enrichment program, in late 1995.[7] In 1996 the corporation also sold a “special industrial furnace” and “high-tech diagnostic equipment” to unsafeguarded nuclear facilities in Pakistan.[8]

The company also played a role in establishing China’s domestic fuel fabrication industry. In 2009 it signed a $500 million fuel supply contract with Russian TVEL that also included transfers of nuclear fuel technologies.[9] The TVEL contract resulted in CNEIC acquiring TVS-2M fuel manufacturing technology for use at CNNC’s Yibin Nuclear Fuel Component Plant. The parties also signed an agreement for the supply of Russian zirconium components needed for the manufacturing of UTVS fuel.[10]

Sources:
[1] “公司简介 [Company Profile],” China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation, 8 May 2009, www.cneic.com.cn.
[2] “核电站 [Nuclear Power Plants],” China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation, 25 December 2009, www.cneic.com.cn.
[3] “国际贸易 [International Trade],” China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation, 25 December 2009, www.cneic.com.cn.
[4] “国际贸易[International Trade],” China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation, 25 December 2009, www.cneic.com.cn.
[5] “Nuclear Power Plant,” China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation Press Release, www.cneic.com.cn.
[6] "RERTR Program Adds MNSRs to Reactor List," NuclearFuel, Vol. 30, No. 25, 5 December 2005, pp. 1.
[7] Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons (New York: Walker & Co., 2007), p. 259.
[8] Shirley A. Kan, “China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues,” Congressional Research Service, 26 May 2009.
[9] “Chinese VVERs Start Using Domestically Made Fuel,” World Nuclear News, 31 August 2010, www.world-nuclear-news.org.
[10] “TVEL Sells Fuel and Technology Transfer for Tianwan,” Nuclear Engineering International, 3 November 2010, www.neimagazine.com.
 

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents.

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