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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

China’s role in the nuclear marketing frenzy

Buy-China-nukes-1Chinese nuclear firms urged to boost presence overseas South China Morning Post 16 Jan 15  China will push its big nuclear firms to improve their competitiveness and boost their presence overseas as it bids to become one of the world’s dominant nuclear energy powers, Premier Li Keqiang said.

“To continue the struggle to become a strong nuclear energy power, China must comprehensively raise the industry’s competitive advantages, promote nuclear power equipment overseas…..

the country’s two biggest state nuclear companies, China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Corp (CGN), have agreed to invest in Britain’s Hinkley Point nuclear project.

Wang Zhongtang, the chief engineer at State Nuclear Power Technology Corp, said China was also well on its way to securing projects in Turkey and South Africa.

China has been making steady progress on its own third-generation reactors, including the Hualong I, jointly developed by CNNC and CGN for the purpose of winning overseas projects.

Zheng Hua, a deputy chief engineer with CGN’s reactor design unit, said last month that China hoped to develop Hualong I reactors in Britain, building on the agreement to invest in Hinkley Point.

China was also considering a plan to merge CNNC and CGN in order to pool their resources and improve their competitiveness overseas, sources said late last year. http://www.scmp.com/business/economy/article/1680957/chinese-nuclear-firms-urged-boost-presence-overseas

January 17, 2015 Posted by | China, marketing | Leave a comment

China well up in the throng to market nuclear technology to other countries

fighters-marketing-1flag-ChinaChina ready to sell nuclear fuel for NPPs in Ukraine and Eastern Europe — CNNC source http://itar-tass.com/en/world/771570 January 16, 15 Ukrainian energy sector workers are facing technical problems with American nuclear fuel loading into the Soviet-type reactors BEIJING, January 16. /TASS/. China is ready to sell fuel for nuclear power plants in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, a China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) source told TASS on Friday on the sidelines of the World Nuclear Spotlight forum.

According to the source, Chinese companies intend to sell the fuel to the countries that operate various types of Soviet-and Russian-made NPPs. Aside from Ukraine, China is viewing the possibility of exporting nuclear fuel to Hungary and Romania.

The source said Ukrainian energy sector workers are facing technical problems with American nuclear fuel loading into the Soviet-type reactors.

At the moment China is actively buying uranium mines with a view to exporting uranium to other countries in the foreseeable future. Asked about Russia’s possible claims to the Chinese manufacturers of nuclear fuel, he said that “there are no special restrictions.” “Despite the related agreements, the Russian side is unlikely to stop the supplies,” said the CNNC representative.

Russia and China have been actively developing co-operation in the nuclear sphere for many years. For example, State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom and CNNC signed a protocol to launch the discussion of possible formats of co-operation in the sphere of construction of nuclear power plants in third countries.

January 17, 2015 Posted by | China, marketing | | Leave a comment

India should not buy Russia’s unsafe nuclear reactors

Russian-Bearflag-indiaReactors from Russia are unsafe and unreliable, India shouldn’t buy them: Russian environmentalist Vladimir SlivyakDiaNuke.org, 9 Jan 15  DiaNuke.org interviewed the eminent environmentalist Vladimir Slivyak whose group EcoDefense has been facing repression in Russia for exposing the lack of nuclear safety and environmental impacts. His report on the status of nuclear industry in Russia, prepared on the request of an environmental group in Africa which is also an important market that the Russian nuclear giant Atomsroyexport is eyeing, has been published recently.

The Russian President in his recent visit to New Delhi, offered 21 more reactors to India. Why is the Russian nuclear industry is in such hurry when there is a global shift away from nuclear after Fukushima?

Unfortunately, Russia hasen’t learnt any lessons from Fukushima. Development of nuclear power industry remains the priority for Russian government……..

It is also about making other countries dependent on Russian services and supplies, including nuclear fuel and also so called treatment of high-level radioactive waste, such as spent nuclear fuel, which is usually taken back to Russia. Making someone dependent in such a sensitive field as nuclear power, where not many producers existing, has global political importance for Russian authorities……….

Rosatom promises are far bigger than its technical capability to build reactors. The only explanation I can think of is that they don’t believe that all these reactors will be actually ordered. And Rosatom’ $100billion portfolio is not about real orders actually. It looks great on paper and allows Rosatom managers to report about big success to the government and continue to benefit from big governmental subsidies. But let’s see how their promises are interacting with reality. Couple of years ago there was contract signed with Vietnam and it was said publicly construction will start soon. And last year it appeared that this plan is postponed until 2020. Contract with Turkey was signed before Vietnam and reported to be another big breakthrough, but no construction started until now. And the most of so-called “orders” of Rosatom in other countries are, in fact, not real contracts, but just talks and wishful thinking. Rosatom often gives away totally unreliable information on new reactors, and it was many times proven to be false.

It doesn’t mean Rosatom is not capable of building reactors in India at all. Rather it means that if they do, they would have to postpone many other plans for long, they will try to do it as fast as possible which will likely affect safety of new reactors.

We often hear from the Russian Ambassador and the industry leaders from Russia visiting India that the Russian reactors are safest in the world. What is your take?

Rosatom is promoting its new reactor design, the VVER-TOI, to international customers even though this design has never been tested in practical operation in Russia. No assessments of this design have been done by independent experts, either. It remains unclear if safety has been improved in the new design, as Rosatom claims. But even industry experts put Rosatom’s claims of increased safety in doubt and argue over the effectiveness of new safety systems.

Existing Russian reactors, likewise, do not demonstrate a high level of safety………http://www.dianuke.org/russian-reactors-are-unsafe-and-unreliable-india-shouldnt-buy-them-russian-environmentalist-vladimir-slivyak/

January 14, 2015 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Pathetic selling effort by the nuclear industry carpet-baggers

The so-called luminaries attempting to sell (or should that be “shill”) Mad Maxatomstrom are lightweights like Robert Stone who, having made a bad propaganda documentary about nuclear energy sees himself as some kind of expert. Also on the list is Patrick Moore, the notorious paid proponent not only of nuclear but the chemical industry, (as in bring back DDT), the genetic engineering industry, and clear-cut logging. (How does any self-respecting reporter still dare to refer to him as an “environmentalist”?) And then there’s the blinkered Barry Brook who wrongly claimed that North Korea never signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and buys the completely discredited IAEA-WHO death figure of 60 for the Chernobyl disaster.

The obvious conclusion is that Mad Maxatomstrom is another desperate, last-ditch attempt by the nuclear coven to cling on to a corner of the energy sector, at least in the mind’s eye if not in the actual marketplace

carpetbagger

The Nuclear Carpet-Baggers http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/23/mad-maxatomstrom-just-here-for-the-money/  Mad Maxatomstrom: Just Here for the Money by LINDA PENTZ GUNTER

Except there won’t be much. Money that is. Because the Mad Maxatomstrom plan is to carpet-bag into Germany and try to sell them on nuclear energy and only nuclear energy. Yes, you read that right, Mad Maxatomstrom is Germany’s “first provider of 100 percent nuclear power.” (Okay, the company is actually called Maxatomstrom, but the business plan is so mad, who could resist?)

I say “carpet-bag” because notably all the “spokespeople” are anglo-saxon, most of them pulled from the Evangelical School of Nuclear Deniers. They are also all male and all white. Make of that what you choose.

It’s fitting that this new all-nuclear energy company was apparently launched by a member of Germany’s so-called Pirate Party (it has no members of Parliament.) When I first read the press release I thought it was a spoof. It’s also telling that the company could not find a single, prominent German spokesperson.

And I say “not much money” because there are so many other better and equally competitive, if not cheaper, electricity choices already in Germany, some of which are providers of 100% renewable energy. Germany-based anaylst Craig Norris ran the Maxatomstrom numbersand got “three different offers, each around 50 euros a month – an absolutely unremarkable outcome (it’s basically what I pay right now for 100 percent green power.)” So these pirates won’t really be doing so well in the plundering-the-German-people department.

Mad Maxatomstrom claims it already boasts 3,000 customers! Wow, that’s just a tenth of the amount of people still employed in Germany’s declining nuclear sector, and about 100th of the people employed in the growing renewable energy sector. The local Mom and Pop corner store probably does better. Continue reading

December 26, 2014 Posted by | Germany, marketing | Leave a comment

Russia keen to lock Jordan into long term contracts to buy nuclear reactors

Russian-BearRussia approves draft deal to build nuclear plant in Jordan, Times of Israel 25 Dec 14 State-owned company Rosatom expected to finish construction of first 1,000-megawatt unit by 2024, second by 2026 Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev endorsed a draft Russia-Jordan agreement on the construction and operation of a nuclear plant in Jordan, the official website of the Kremlin said on Thursday…….

The state-owned company will form a joint venture with the Jordanian government, in which the Russian company will have 49.9 percent of the shares and Jordan will own 50.1%. The agreement will be financed by investments from both parties……

The statement published on the Russian government’s website said the implementation of the Jordan-Rosatom agreement will positively affect the development of Russia’s nuclear energy sector and will ensure long-term contracts to Russian companies. Russia approves draft deal to build nuclear plant in Jordan | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/russia-approves-draft-deal-to-build-nuclear-plant-in-jordan/#ixzz3N20QThlz 

December 26, 2014 Posted by | Jordan, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

The international battle to market nuclear technology to South Africa

flag-S.AfricaGeopolitics key in battle to gain SA’s nuclear nod, IOL Zambia, December 23 2014 By BloombergPaul Burkhardt and Franz Wild POLITICS may tip the balance as Russia’s Rosatom and France’s Areva prepare to battle it out for South Africa’s planned nuclear energy project that could cost $100 billion (R1.2 trillion).fighters-marketing-1

“Geopolitical and industrial relations between South Africa and the nuclear-vendor countries will play an important role,” Des Muller, the head of Johannesburg-based building company Group Five’s nuclear construction division, said last week. “It does with all major infrastructure projects and more so on nuclear infrastructures where reliance on nuclear safety and construction know-how is paramount.”

South Africa could pay as much as $100bn spread out over a period of 15 years for nuclear reactors to provide 9 600 megawatts of power, Muller said………

“The South African government has stressed that through the new build process we wish to revitalise a nuclear industry in South Africa with a view to long-term self-sufficiency,” Xolisa Mabhongo, the group executive corporate services at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of SA, or Necsa, said in response to questions………

Russia might already have a head-start as President Jacob Zuma fostered stronger economic co-operation with the country and China in a shift from his Western and Africa-leaning predecessor Thabo Mbeki, Robert Besseling, an analyst with IHS Country Risk, said.

The Soviet Union and then Russia historically kept close ties with the ruling ANC from the days in which it was battling against the apartheid regime. Under Zuma’s watch, South Africa was incorporated into the Brics alliance with Brazil, Russia, India and China.

“Considering the much stronger relationship between the Zuma presidency and the Russian government than under the previous South African administration, it looks much more likely that the expansion of the nuclear programme will be awarded to Russia,” Besseling said………http://www.iol.co.za/business/news/geopolitics-key-in-battle-to-gain-sa-s-nuclear-nod-1.1798374#.VJsqssA8

December 24, 2014 Posted by | marketing, South Africa | Leave a comment

Putin determined to market nuclear reactors to India

Russian-BearPutin’s India visit: New nuclear plants high on agenda , Live Mint 9 Dec 14 Vladimir Putin dispels concerns about military cooperation between Russia and Pakistan, says India is a ‘reliable and time-tested partner’ Moscow: Terming the ties with India as a “privileged strategic partnership”, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday disclosed that construction of new nuclear plants besides military and technical cooperation was high on the agenda during his visit to New Delhi…………
Listing the joint strategic projects, the President said that these included construction of new units for Indian nuclear power plants, promotion of Russian Sukhoi superjet-100 and MS-21 passenger aircraft to Indian market besides manufacturing of helicopters and creating a “smart city” on the basis of Russian technology. Putin said Russia’s resources enable it to build upto 25 energy units in India……………
The policy document “Strategic Vision of the Strengthening Russian-Indian Cooperation in the Field of Peaceful Uses of the Atomic Energy” is also being prepared to be signed. Alongside with the new energy units construction, it provides for the exchange of the results of activities in the field of science, technology and innovation,” he said. Calling nuclear energy cooperation as one of the pillars of strategic partnership between India and Russia, Putin said both the countries had concluded two inter-governmental agreements in this field in 2008 and 2010. “The Road Map for the Serial Construction of the Russian designed NPP in the Republic of India, which was signed in 2010, is currently being implemented. “The work on two energy units of the NPP Kudankulam is proceeding as scheduled.  http://www.livemint.com/Politics/RnYO2OCRTz1zmFDGmfClCI/Putins-India-visit-New-nuclear-plants-high-on-agenda.html?utm_source=copy

December 10, 2014 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

France keen to sell nuclear reactors to Czech Republic (or indeed, anybody)

areva-medusa1French Companies Interestedin Expanding Czech Nuclear Program Sputnik News 9 Dec 14 During his visit to Prague, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said French state-controlled companies such as Electricite de France and Areva are interested in expdanding the Czech Republic’s nuclear program.

MOSCOW, December 9 (Sputnik) — French energy companies are interested in developing the Czech’s nuclear program, according to country’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

Dyring his visit to Prague on Tuesday, Valls told a Czech-French business forum that state-controlled companies such as utility Electricite de France and nuclear engineering giant Areva “are ready to react to the decision” to expand the country’s nuclear energy output, according to Associated Press……..http://sputniknews.com/business/20141209/1015660406.html

December 10, 2014 Posted by | France, marketing | Leave a comment

USA keen to market nuclear reactors to Malaysia (or anyone?)

Buy-US-nukesUS: We’ll help build nuclear plant The Star 26 Oct KUALA LUMPUR: The United States is willing to help Malaysia should it decide to build a nuclear power plant, says American diplomat Laura E. Kennedy.

Kennedy, charge d’affaires at the Permanent Mission of the US to the International Organisations in Vienna, said her country had a long standing nuclear power industry with the right expertise………

The envoy, who is in the country to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, said Malaysians should be aware that nuclear technology could be beneficial in fields such as health and agriculture……http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/10/26/US-Well-help-build-nuclear-plant/

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Malaysia, marketing, USA | Leave a comment

For US government, exporting nuclear technology is more important than public safety

Buy-US-nukesUS opposes pos t-Fukushima nuclear safety proposal http://rt.com/usa/199024-cns-nuclear-safety-proposal/

October 24, 2014 The United States is reportedly trying to fend off an attempt out of Switzerland to change a multi-national nuclear safety agreement in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.Reuters and Bloomberg News both reported this week that Swiss officials are seeking addendums to the 77-nation Convention on Nuclear Safety, or CNS, so that countries around the globe are compelled to upgrade energy facilities in hopes of preventing fallout like the one spawned by the Fukushima meltdown more than three years ago.

But while Reuters says the Swiss-led initiative is tentatively being backed by other European countries, the newswire alleges that energy officials in the US, Russia and Canada are all opposed to the measure, which would likely increase industry costs.

Although details of the proposed pact have not been made public, Bloomberg reported that it would involve rewriting “international standards to ensure nuclear operators not only prevent accidents but mitigate consequences if they occur, by installing costly new structures built to survive natural disasters.” In a report published on Thursday this week by Reuters, the newswire said that the proposed changes would not only apply up-to-date safety standards for new reactors, but also carry out back-fitting measures on sites that are already in operation.According to this week’s reports, however, some of the world’s top energy powers are opposed because, as Reuters’ Fredrick Dahl wrote, any changes to the CNS could take years to be installed if, of course, they are ratified by the dozens of nations involved. “You are trying to drop a Ferrari engine into a Volkswagen. If you want a new car, let’s go to the show room” and buy one, a senior but unnamed Department of State official said to Dahl.

But experts have previously said American facilities, in particular, are in need of upgrades, with a July 2014 report published by the National Academy of Science that said the US “should access their preparedness for severe nuclear accidents associated with offsite-scale disasters.” Additionally, the authors of that study wrote that America’s current approach to nuclear safety is “clearly inadequate for preventing core-melt accidents and mitigating their consequences,” yet newly-initiated upgrades in the US are being conducted on a scale hardly comparable to what’s occurring overseas: according to Bloomberg, Electricite de France SA is spending around $13 billion on implementing safety measures on its 59 reactors, whereas American utilities will spend only $3 billion on portable generators and cooling reserves for roughly 100 reactors.

Nevertheless, officials in Berne remain optimistic that the countries currently opposed to the proposed changes will come to an agreement that makes facilities around the world more secure.

“Switzerland, as the initiator of the proposal, will continue to collaborate with all delegations and do everything to find a solution that is acceptable to all of us,” Georg Schwarz, deputy director general of the Swiss nuclear-safety regulator, ENSI, wrote to Bloomberg Business Week.

Russian officials did not immediately respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comment, and neither BusinessWeek nor Reuters included remarks from Canada in their report.

October 25, 2014 Posted by | marketing, safety, USA | Leave a comment

US Dept of Energy warding research grants to universities

nukes-hungry

 

Pitt researchers awarded a nearly $1-million grant for nuclear power safety research By Stephanie Ritenbaugh / Pittsburgh Post-GazetteOctober 22, 2014 Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh were awarded a $987,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Programs to develop a fiber optical sensor network to improve safety in nuclear power reactors……..The grant was part of $11 million awarded for 12 research and development projects. http://powersource.post-gazette.com/powersource/companies-powersource/2014/10/22/Pennsylvania-DEP-fines-Regency-Marcellus-Gas-Gathering-more-than-300-000/stories/201410220158

October 23, 2014 Posted by | marketing, USA | Leave a comment

South Africa a juicy target for the nuclear reactor marketers

flag-S.AfricaState shops for ‘nuclear vendor’ IOL October 20 2014  Cape Town – The government has confirmed it is shopping around for its nuclear build programme and says it is consulting “nuclear vendors” in the US, South Korea, Russia, France, Japan and China.

 

marketig-nukes

The announcement by the Department of Energy yesterday comes weeks of controversy about the multibillion-rand nuclear project since it emerged last month that a R1-trillion agreement had been signed with Russia, followed by another with France.

The department said the government was consulting “nuclear vendor countries” with pressurised water reactor nuclear technology, similar to that used at Koeberg………

DA leader Helen Zille has said the nuclear co-operation agreement with France, signed by Joemat-Pettersson on Wednesday, is nothing more than a “decoy”.

“This is… to muddy the waters and divert attention from the Russian deal negotiated by President (Jacob) Zuma and signed by Minister Joemat-Pettersson last month.

“We are led to believe a similar agreement with the Chinese is next and that a proper procurement process has yet to begin, but all evidence points to a done deal with the Russians. No amount of obfuscation can allow our focus to shift from this.” – Cape Times http://www.iol.co.za/business/companies/state-shops-for-nuclear-vendor-1.1767746#.VEcGcSJ4pBE

October 21, 2014 Posted by | marketing, South Africa | Leave a comment

South Africa’s Treasury advised against getting Russian nuclear reactors, but Putin is pushing for the sale

Russian-Bearflag-S.AfricaVladimir Putin’s quest for a nuclear monopoly, Mail & Guardian, South Acfric17 OCT 2014 00:00 QAANITAH HUNTER  Somehow Russia has persuaded President Jacob Zuma into agreeing to a deal for a nuclear fleet that the treasury opposed. The Russians are coming. The nuclear deal with Russia is to dominate the agenda when the South Africa-Russia joint intergovernmental committee on trade and economic co-operation meets next month.

Even though the South African government insists it has not entered into the procurement phase for the nuclear fleet, it has become clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin managed to sway President Jacob Zuma and Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson into giving Russia the entirety of the deal.

Zuma and his most trusted Cabinet ministers went against the strict advice of the national treasury and his senior advisers when a nuclear energy “agreement” was signed with Russia last month.

Two sources who also advised against it revealed this week to the Mail & Guardian that an initial bid made by Russian nuclear company Rosatom last year was rejected by the treasury and a number of Zuma’s advisers. A third credible source who was close to the negotiations confirmed their version of events.

The treasury this week did not deny advising against the initial Russian proposal.

“Nuclear would be a substantial financial commitment and government can only make that kind of commitment after careful and thorough-going modelling and an affordability assessment,” said spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane.

He said they had yet to discuss how the treasury would pay for nuclear energy.

Exclusive rights
It has emerged that the Russians wanted exclusive rights to South Africa’s nuclear industry. This was substantiated by a statement made by Putin in March last year, ­following his visit to South Africa, saying his country did not want to merely build the nuclear plants but would bid to run the entire nuclear industry here.

South Africa plans to enhance its energy mix by creating 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear energy by 2030.

The M&G spoke to three highly placed sources – all of them indicated that:

  • The initial Russian proposal was not affordable and the treasury rejected it;
  • The technology proposed was sub standard and dangerous;
  • It would exclude and be damaging to local industries; and
  • Even public servants who seemed loyal to Zuma had concerns about it.

One source close to the nuclear talks said the signing of the agreement was a result of about two years of courting by the Russians……….http://mg.co.za/article/2014-10-16-vladimir-putins-quest-for-a-nuclear-monopoly

October 18, 2014 Posted by | marketing, Russia, South Africa | Leave a comment

France doesn’t want domestic nuclear power, but keen to sell it to South Africa

fighters-marketing-1South Africa, France ink nuclear partnership, DW 10 Oct14 Only three weeks after partnering with Russia, South Africa has reached a similar nuclear agreement with France. The deals represent Pretoria’s renewed steps in building up the country’s nuclear energy program. outh Africa signed a nuclear power deal with France, the South African government announced Friday, as Pretoria aimed to expand its nuclear power to 9,600 MW.

President Jacob Zuma authorized “an agreement on cooperation in the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy” with the French Republic, a statement from his office said.

The deal comes only three weeks after Africa’s second-largest economy reached a similar agreement with Russia, which will provide the country with eight nuclear reactors by 2023 in a $50 million (39.5-million-euro) contract.

But Russia has estimated the contract value to be more around tens of billions, as one reactor costs around $5 billion.

No further details on the deal with France were provided, and the circumstances surrounding the signing remain murky, according to local media reports……http://www.dw.de/south-africa-france-ink-nuclear-partnership/a-17987145

October 11, 2014 Posted by | France, marketing | 2 Comments

China joins the nuclear marketing frenzy to sell to India

fighters-marketing-1China joins nations eyeing India’s civil nuclear sector, Cold Air Currents, 21 Sept 14  Yahoo News UK:  NEW DELHI (Reuters) - China became the latest nation to line up for a stake in India’s civil nuclear energy drive on Thursday, agreeing to open talks on cooperation in a sector that New Delhi sees as the solution to its chronic power problems.

...”I think the Chinese are looking basically at the commercial angle, since India is going to be giving contracts for nearly $150 billion in the next 10-15 years,” said Srikanth Kondapalli, a China watcher at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.
The announcement, made after Xi met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, comes on the heels of a deal India struck earlier this month to buy uranium from Australia to increase its fuel supplies.
Days before that, Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to accelerate talks on a nuclear energy pact……http://coldaircurrents.luftonline.net/2014/09/china-joins-nations-eyeing-indias-civil.html

September 22, 2014 Posted by | China, India, marketing | Leave a comment

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