Nuclear-Related Share Prices Soar Following China's US$12 Billion Investment In New Reactors

China Nuclear Power
A general view of a nuclear power generation plant (Photo: Reuters)

Following China's announcement that it will be injecting over US$12 billion in new investments for the country's nuclear power, reactor-related share prices immediately jumped. For the first time since 2016, China has announced that it will be investing more money to build four new reactors to add to the country's power grid.

Some of the biggest winners shortly after the announcement is state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), which increased by more than 15 percent in Hong Kong. The firm mainly trades in uranium fuel. Share prices for CGN Power, which operates nuclear and non-nuclear power stations across the country, also jumped by more than 3 percent following the news. Lanzhou LS Heavy Equipment stocks also rose by 10 percent, which is the maximum allowed in Shanghai. The company mainly manufactures equipment and components for nuclear power plants.

Other companies that manufacture materials specifically for nuclear power plants also saw their stocks rise following the announcement. This included valve maker SUFA Technology Industry, which saw a 7.1 percent jump. China Nuclear Industry Construction and CGN Nuclear Technology Development also saw massive gains, with a 5.6 percent and 5.5 percent increase, respectively.

The announcement was originally made by China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, which posted the plan on their website. The agency revealed that the China National Nuclear Power (CNNP) has already laid out plans to start building the first two reactors in June of this year. The two reactors will be built in Zhangzhou city in the Fujian province. Meanwhile, the agency has tasked CGN to build the two other reactors in Huizhou city in Guangdong province.

All of the reactors will be based on the locally developed Hualong One third-generation reactors, which were themselves based on ACP1000 and ACPR1000 designs from France. China previously had a three-year hiatus of building any new reactors due to safety concerns and the lack of any advancement in safety protocols. Now with the safer third-generation reactors, the country is ready to drastically improve its nuclear export goals.

Prior to breaking ground on the new reactors, several environmental impact studies were ordered. The results of those studies are expected to be submitted by March 29. China currently has 46 active nuclear reactors, which generate more than 45 Gigawatts of power. It is currently the world's largest producer of nuclear power. In 2018, nuclear power accounted for 3.9 percent of China's consumption. The country aims to reach its 58-Gigawatt nuclear generation capacity goal by 2020.  

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