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How China came to lead the global nuclear power industry

When Nov 29, 2017
from 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Rooms 8 & 9
Contact Name
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China Research Seminar given by Dr Simon Taylor, Cambridge

China will soon have more nuclear power station capacity than any other country. It is also poised to export its own reactors to countries including the UK. Yet 30 years ago China, with its abundant coal, was barely interested in nuclear power. A combination of provincial economic policy and then central government concern over pollution led China to licence technology from France, Japan and Russia, pragmatically taking what was best and developing its own indigenous engineering base. Building on the expertise developed from the nuclear weapons programme, Chinese scientists and engineers have become the most expert builders of nuclear power stations and are turning their skills into a potentially large export industry, over-taking the former leading nuclear nations of the US, France and Japan. Nuclear energy is likely to be the first high technology industry in which China is a global leader. The seminar will tell the story of how that happened.

Simon Taylor studied economics at Cambridge before doing a masters at Oxford and a PhD at the London School of Economics. After working for two years in the Central Bank of Lesotho, in southern Africa, he spent nine years as an equity analyst in the City, including work on the privatisation of the nuclear company British Energy in 1996. In 2001 he became Deputy Head of European Equity Research at JPMorgan, where he led the team that set up the Global Research Centre in Mumbai, India. He joined Cambridge University’s Judge Business School in 2007 as a Lecturer in Finance and became the first Director of the Master of Finance. He teaches international finance and infrastructure finance on various degree programmes at Cambridge. In 2009 he won the Cambridge University Pilkington Teaching Prize.

Simon is a Fellow of St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, a Research Associate of the Cambridge Energy Policy Research Group and a visiting professor at Xiamen University in China. His book “The Fall and Rise of Nuclear Power in the UK” was published in 2016 and his work on nuclear power won the Judge Business School prize for research impact in 2017.

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