nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

China “looks to small nuclear reactors” – but it’s not really a very good look

This article is surely meant as a promotional boost for small nuclear reactors, SMRs.  BUT – it doesn’t quite read that way.  We learn that only the most enthusiastically pro-nuclear nations are interested in SMRs.

Another giveaway is that remarkable confession at the end  – that success of SMRs hinges on investors seeing new large-scale plants coming online and building on those successes.

Well, seeing that large nuclear reactors projects are now stalling, all over the place, with delays, safety problems, and ballooning costs –  those successes are looking very unlikely. Which leaves SMRs very much in the fantasy world – waiting for investors who never appear.

China looks to small nuclear reactorsnews.com.au, JUNE 27, 2017. David Stanway, Reuters China is betting on new, small-scale nuclear reactor designs that could be used in isolated regions, on ships and even aircraft as part of an ambitious plan to wrest control of the global nuclear market.

Within weeks, state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) is set to launch a small modular reactor (SMR) dubbed the “Nimble Dragon” with a pilot plant on the island province of Hainan, according to company officials.

…..But these so-called “third-generation” reactors have been mired in financing problems and building delays, deterring all but the most enthusiastically pro-nuclear nations.

The challenges of financing and building large, expensive reactors contributed to the bankruptcy of Toshiba Inc’s nuclear unit, Westinghouse, and to the financial problems that forced France’s Areva to restructure.

SMRs have capacity of less than 300 megawatts (MW) – enough to power around 200,000 homes – compared to at least 1 gigawatt (GW) for standard reactors.

China aims to lift domestic nuclear capacity to 200 GW by 2030, up from 35 GW at the end of March, but its ambitions are global.

CNNC designed the Linglong, or “Nimble Dragon” to complement its larger Hualong or “China Dragon” reactor and has been in discussions with Pakistan, Iran, Britain, Indonesia, Mongolia, Brazil, Egypt and Canada as potential partners.

“The big reactor is the Hualong One, the small reactor is the Linglong One – many countries intend to co-operate with CNNC’s ‘two dragons going out to sea’,” Yu Peigen, vice-president of CNNC, told a briefing in May.

…….The success of new small-scale reactors hinges on investors seeing new large-scale plants coming online and building on those successes, said Christopher Levesque, Terrapower’s president.

“We’re not competing with those folks, we’re rooting for them,” he told an industry forum in Shanghai last month. http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/breaking-news/china-looks-to-small-nuclear-reactors/news-story/fa30465507d75bb2efef3bb1de827eca

Advertisements

June 28, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, China, technology

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: