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The sources of divergent practices in China's nuclear power sector

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  • Chi, Cheryl S.F.
  • Chen, Ling

Abstract

Unlike markets that were early developers of reactors, which are dominated by single technologies, China's nuclear power sector adopts and imports multiple technologies. Even after the Chinese government introduced a policy to develop a standardized, unified, and technologically advanced nuclear power sector in the early 2000s, different technologies continue to be imported. This study uses an institutional lens to explore the decoupling of policy intentions and implementation. The three phases of nuclear technology imports that occurred between the 1980s and 2010 are examined and compared. Data are collected from multiple sources, including the diary of a major decision-maker, news articles, project websites, a regulation database, domestic journal articles, and interviews with industry experts. Using interactive content analysis, this study identifies the multiple policy principles and goals of different domains that led to different import arrangements and interpretations of the available foreign technology. New arrangements do not replace but overlap the existing ones that are perpetuated by the actors who benefit from them. The results show that the multiplicity of China's nuclear power sector, coupled with the government's late attempts at standardization, contributes to diversified policy implementation. They provide important policy implications for the sustainable development of the sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Chi, Cheryl S.F. & Chen, Ling, 2012. "The sources of divergent practices in China's nuclear power sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 348-357.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:48:y:2012:i:c:p:348-357
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.05.036
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    Cited by:

    1. Xu, Y.C., 2014. "The struggle for safe nuclear expansion in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 21-29.

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    Keywords

    Nuclear power; Technological imports; China;

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