China to end import tax exemption for advanced second-generation nuclear reactors

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Tuesday that advanced second-generation nuclear reactors will lose their import tax exemption from Jan. 1, 2019 as Beijing seeks to support domestic suppliers and promote technological development.

China is expected to triple its nuclear power capacity to reach 120-150 GW in total by 2030 as part of Beijing’s push to boost clean energy consumption.

Pre-allocated 2019 import quotas for tax exemption on nuclear reactors with capacities of more than 1 gigawatt (GW) to Chinese manufacturing companies will also be canceled, the Finance Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

China has already committed itself to using advanced, safer and larger third-generation reactors, including Westinghouse's AP1000 and Areva's ARVCF.PK EPR, as well as its own home-grown Hualong One.

Last month, the United States said it was tightening controls on China’s imports of civil nuclear technology to prevent its use for military or other unauthorized purposes amid growing trade tension between the two countries.

All of the 37 nuclear reactors in operation and half of the 20 reactors under construction are second or advanced-second generation, according to data from the China Nuclear Energy Association.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and David Stanway; Editing by Tom Hogue and Alexander Smith