"We've already started preparation for continuous cooperation in the Tianwan Nuclear Station and, hopefully, will start the work in the second half of this year," Russian Ambassador to China Sergey Sergeevich Razov said recently.
Russia had helped China build two reactors in the Tianwan nuclear plant, in Jiangsu province, which went into operation in 2007. The two reactors, with combined capacity of 2,000 megawatts, are using Russia's VVER 1000 nuclear model.
Russia is going to build two more reactors in Tianwan once China lifts its suspension of new nuclear power plants imposed after the nuclear power plant disaster in Japan last year.
The two countries have been in discussions for a series of potential cooperative projects.
China completed a 25-mW experimental fast reactor in 2009, a fourth-generation model that represents the country's latest nuclear technology. The design was based on Russia's technical specifications and the project was constructed by Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corp, Russia's national nuclear energy developer.
After the completion of the experimental project, China invited Russia to build the first 800-mW commercial fast reactor. Meanwhile, the TENEX, Russia's equipment and technology export body, is working with a Chinese partner on nuclear fuel recycling. The company is providing technology and equipment for a project in China that enriches uranium through gas centrifugation.
"China and Russia have great potential for cooperation in the nuclear waste sector, because Russia is very advanced in this field," said Xiao Xinjian, an industry expert with the Energy Research Institute affiliated with China's National Development and Reform Commission.
Russia has proposed to China that they jointly exploit three uranium deposits on Russian territory, said Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Rosatom, during a visit to Beijing in 2010.
Russia would be open to creating a joint venture with China or attracting Chinese investments in its mining projects, Kiriyenko said.
China is interested in certain technologies of Russia's pressured water reactor model, according to Xiao.
"China shows great interest in the core catcher technology in the PWR and maintenance technology that would increase the operation time," Kiriyenko said.
Another field for possible cooperation would be offshore nuclear power plants. China is interested in a floating nuclear plant that could be used to power offshore oil and gas facilities, industry experts said.