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I'm much more sympathetic to this line of argument.

Things I'd like to look into more (and would love to hear any thoughts if you have insights): are there anti-proliferation reasons that mean Chinese companies don't have access to the same level of nuclear technology as USA / France? Are domestic investors less willing to invest in these sort of projects in China (e.g. since there is a major construction boom)? Are international investors less able to invest in these sort of long-range and potentially sensitive projects in China, due to capital controls or other reasons?

But I agree, if China can't affordably build a nuclear plant, then that would at least suggest that the regulatory component isn't enough to explain why it's not cost effective.

China has been building nuclear plants for decades. They have a huge body of practical experience. I don't think "same level of nuclear technology" is the issue, because plants tend to be built with proven tech, not raw research.

Cost is a huge issue for nuclear power. It could sort-of compete with coal, but not with cheaper modern sources. This is a bitter pill for nuclear proponents to swallow. It's easier to blame irrational environmentalists and their unnecessary regulations than to accept that a fetish technology is not actually economically viable.

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