nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

– Marketing Nuclear Power Internationally

Two centuries ago, there was the “scramble for Africa” – European countries competing for colonies. Now, there’s the scramble for nuclear sales to Asia, Africa, Middle East, South America as nuclear companies compete to save their dying industry.

Suppliers such as France, Russia, South Korea, Japan, and the United States are eagerly competing to ink deals with, and provide nuclear aid to, more than a dozen Middle Eastern states, including Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia — many of the same regimes now facing threats of internal upheaval. Jonathan Pearl: Safeguarding Nuclear Security in the Shadow of Middle East Revolutions


France - AREVA: It’s a rather incestuous business. France’s government-owned AREVA used a Westinghouse design for supplying nuclear technology to other countries – USA, China, Poland. Is now trying to sell nuclear reactors to India,  (but having trouble at home building their super-expensive “Generation 4 reactor).  AREVA links nuclear power with renewable energy – possibly as a way to restrain development of renewable energy.

USA : General Electric. Westinghouse Westinghouse is mainly owned by Toshiba. It is busy selling to Korea, and  a Generation 3 reactor to China, and bidding to sell to South Africa. It boasts a new Small Modular Reactor, for which it can’t get a license in USA. (But who cares if it can sell it to 3rd world?)

Russia - Rosatom :- Russia’s government -owned nuclear company. Rosatom, under the direction of Russia’s nuclear energy Czar, Sergei Kiriyenko, aims to be the world-wide seller of all aspects of nuclear technology – from uranium to waste management

Japan- Toshiba, Hitachi – a bit late on the marketing scene, BUT     – Six companies—Tokyo Electric Power Co., Chubu Electric Power Co., Kansai Electric Power Co., Toshiba Corp., Hitachi Ltd., and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.  have set up a preparatory organization to sell nuclear-power-plant construction and operation technologies overseas.

South Korea: Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)-led consortium has beaten those of GE+Hitachi and Areva to win a USD20 billion tender for four 1,400MW civil nuclear power reactors in the United Arab Emirates. Like AREVA, Kepco also provides solar power, (again, possibly to prevent it competing well with nuclear).

China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co., Ltd. (CGNPC) – gearing up to switch from buyer to seller.  Like AREVA, and Rosatom, it has the advantage of being government owned – so nobody knows about the real costs.

PRICE of NUCLEAR REACTORS This varies enormously. AREVA’s flagship European Pressurised Reactor at Olkiluoto in Finland was first set to cost 3.2 billion euros, soon overrun by another 2.7 billion euros, and the cost is still rising.

NUCLEAR REACTOR TYPES FOR SALE: Pressurised water reactors (PWR) , Boiling water reactors (BWR) , Pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) , Reprocessing and Fast Breeder reactors (LMFBR) .   These are variously labelled as Generation 2 or Generation 3 – types already in use. Pebble bed nuclear reactors – so far not succesfully in use

The nuclear industry’s SALES PITCH for NEW NUCLEAR  REACTORS.

Anything to keep the hope, the promise, of nuclear power alive. Nuclear companies promote newer versions of these various types, -

Generation 4 nuclear reactors are still only at the development stage, but are being pre-sold, anyway.

Small modular nuclear reactors – these proposed designs are getting much promotion, but can’t get a license in USA, and even the nuclear industry gives a long time scale ahead, for their production. Cost seems to be prohibitive.

Thorium reactors are also getting much promotion, with thorium another radioactive element, used instead of uranium. A thorium fast breeder reactor is being developed, using plutonium fuel along with thorium.

Nuclear fusion is discussed as another great hope for the industry – not yet developed, and with extraordinarily high costs –  nuclear fusion is another unlikely way to keep the industry alive.

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