Bureau Veritas: Serve as a bridge; help Chinese nuclear enterprises go global

04/04/18

On March 28-31, Laurent KUENY, vice president of Bureau Veritas (BV) has participated in the Nuclear Industry Exhibition in Beijing, China, and commented on how Bureau Veritas takes the advantage of global network and localization service to assist the China’s nuclear power enterprises in going global.

 

In Laurent’s opinion, what differentiates the nuclear power industry from others is that it requires a high technical barrier. The biggest difficulty for the nuclear power plants to go global is to meeting requirements of different destinations (countries), including for law, quality and delivery progress.  To this end, the biggest challenge is to give sufficient confidence to these countries and show them your ability to meet relevant standards and requirements. As a global company, BV is familiar with laws and regulations of different countries. As a third-part inspector, it can give confidence and certification to the regulatory organ and competent authority in a destination. Its core business is to serve as a bridge that connects different laws and standards of different countries

Now the world’s first three AP1000 and EPR nuclear reactors, which are just under construction, involve BV’s service. In introducing American route and French route to China, BV is extremely experienced. While going to facilitate the Chinese “going global” route, it remains a challenge regarding how to realize achievement conversion and experience sharing. BV has a globalized team. In addition to helping Westinghouse and AREVA enter the Chinese market, it helps the Russian supply chain satisfy the requirements of Finland and Turkey. The experience in global projects can be shared. For example, as EPR becomes localized in China, Finland and France, all of its experience feedbacks and global project experience can serve as a strong support for the next project. As for Hualong One nuclear project, BV is involved in welding evaluation of Karachi K2/ K3 projects in Pakistan,  training, exchanger test of NO.5 Fuqing Nuclear Power Unit, main pump test of Fangchenggang No.3 Nuclear Power Unit, etc.

For the challenges faced by China's equipment entering the global market, Laurent said that the cases in and out of China were totally different. The first thing is the difference in laws and regulations. In addition to meeting these laws and regulations, a nuclear power enterprise has to prove to the purchaser and the supervisory department that it can meet quality and other requirements. Chinese enterprises have good corporate images and good performances, but when going global, it remains a challenge for them to demonstrate these images and performances in a suitable way. In this case, the role of BV is an independent supervisory agency that shows the manufacturing process, quality system and others to the purchaser and the supervisory department in order to validate the product compliance with the user’s requirements. The services provided by BV in proof acquisition, engineering consulting, procurement and equipment certification will help enhance foreign regulatory organs and purchasers’ sense of belief in the Chinese supply chain. Besides, BV has a lot of experts who study the laws and regulations in different countries.  It provides globalized training, to help the Chinese nuclear power enterprises understand the law system in a destination earlier. It gives full consideration to cost estimate and progress control for a project.  

Laurent proposed some suggestions for the Chinese nuclear power enterprises. The first thing is to ensure independence and transparency. After the Fukushima accident occurred in 2011, these two points gain more attention in the industry. Through more inspections and assessments, the operation of the power plant is made more transparent; the regulatory authority must be independent and may introduce third-party supervision. Second, China's nuclear power companies need to demonstrate equal performance and image in transnational projects as just they do in China. They not only meet local requirements, but also meet the standards of a destination. Last but not least importantly, the global nuclear industry will release a new standard next summer, ISO-19443, which is the world's first recognized quality system standard for the nuclear power supply chain. China can act as a pioneer to implement this standard and prove to the world that China is the country that meets the highest requirement of the nuclear industry.

Although the development of nuclear power has slowed down, the nuclear power still plays a very important role in the entire energy system. For BV, the strategy for nuclear power is still expanding. BV has a workforce of 29,000 in Asia and 17,000 in Europe. The focus of BV's business development is on Asia.

In the future, BV will not only focus on new nuclear power projects, but will also focus on the testing of 400 in-service nuclear units and nuclear fuel transportation. BV is fully confident about the development of China's nuclear industry and also has a strong Chinese team to help the Chinese nuclear power enterprises go global.

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