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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear marketing: sellers keen to finance Kenya ?

marketing-nukes

Who’s Paying For This $5 Billion Nuclear Plant In Kenya?,Daily Caller, ANDREW FOLLETT
Energy and Science Reporter, 1 Dec 16  
Kenya is getting ready to start building a $5 billion dollar nuclear power plant, but its unclear where the money is coming from.

Kenya’s first nuclear reactor is scheduled to be completed by 2027 and will generate an estimated 1,000 megawatts of power. Kenya has signed agreements with China for the larger country to help finance and construct similar reactors. China’s state-controlled nuclear companies have already offered technical assistance in handling the nuclear fuel Kenya will need.

Another potential funding source for the reactor is South Korea, which signed agreements to collaborate on designing, operating and financing Kenyan reactors.

“When we talk of 1,000 megawatts, we are talking half of the capacity we have right now in the country,” Collins Gordon Juma, CEO of Kenya’s Nuclear Electricity Board, told Bloomberg Markets Tuesday. “It is very expensive, so we are looking at several funding options. We are speaking to various governments.”……..

Kenya is one of the most stable countries in East Africa, but the country has a serious problem with Islamic terrorism. In 1998, 200 people were killed when al-Qaida affiliate Egyptian Islamic Jihad bombed the U.S. embassy in the country. Another 13 were killed in an attack on an Israeli-owned Paradise hotel in 2002. More recently, the militant Islamic terror group, Al-Shabaab, killed 67 people in an attack on a shopping mall in 2013.

The country’s new reactor would not produce the weapons-grade plutonium necessary to make a nuclear weapon, but materials from them could be used to create dirty bombs. A dirty bomb combines radioactive material with conventional explosives that could contaminate the local area with high radiation levels for long periods of time and cause mass panic, though it would be millions of times weaker than an actual nuclear device. The Islamic State wants to steal this kind of radioactive material for a dirty bomb.

Other countries with serious Islamic terrorism problems are also constructing nuclear reactors. Saudi Arabia plans to build 16 nuclear power plants from Russia for $100 billion despite terrorism concerns, according to a Monday announcement from a government-controlled nuclear power company. The reactors will be built by the Russian government controlled Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Cooperation……. http://dailycaller.com/2016/11/30/whos-paying-for-this-5-billion-nuclear-plant-in-kenya/#ixzz4RcZVEppY

December 2, 2016 Posted by | Kenya, marketing | Leave a comment

Very dubious market for nuclear power in South East Asia

market-disappointedThe limited role for nuclear can be explained by the high upfront capital costs, limited access to financing, and uneven and tepid public support in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Public opposition has been especially evident in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.”Kiriyenko--tsar

former Rosatom head Sergey Kirienko’s team has been excellent at drawing up and signing nonbinding nuclear agreements … Actually building nuclear plants seems to be beyond them.

Vietnam’s amazing nuclear journey – why it ended, what it means for South East Asia, Energy Post, November 29, 2016 by  On November 10, Vietnam took the historic decision to scrap its nuclear power program, after many decades of nuclear preparations, up to a ground-breaking ceremony at the first proposed nuclear site in the country in 2014. Jim Green, editor of Nuclear Monitor, published by WISE (World Information Service on Energy), tells the amazing story of nuclear power in Vietnam – and discusses what the Vietnamese decision means for the prospects of nuclear power in South East Asia. Courtesy of Nuclear Monitor.

Let’s first imagine how this story might have unfolded, if the nuclear industry had its way. Construction would be underway on Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant, and plans would be in train to build a total of 14 reactors by 2030. Russia would be building Vietnam’s first reactor, giving it a foothold in south-east Asia (where it has nuclear cooperation agreements with seven countries). Japan and South Korea would also be gearing up to build reactors in Vietnam, a fillip for their troubled domestic nuclear industries and their ambitions to become major nuclear exporters. US nuclear vendors would also be heavily involved, salivating at the US Department of Commerce’s estimate of US$50 billion (€47.4 bn) of contracts for nuclear plants in Vietnam by 2030.

It hasn’t unfolded like that. On November 22, Vietnam’s National Assembly voted in support of a government decision to cancel plans to build nuclear power plants. An immense amount of resources have been wasted on the nuclear program over several decades. Nuclear vendor countries will have to look elsewhere for business. They will continue to try their luck in southeast Asia but they are wasting their time: not a single power reactor is in operation or being built in the region and none will be built in the foreseeable future.

First, a brief history of Vietnam’s nuclear program:………

2016 cancellation

On November 10, Duong Quang Thanh, CEO of staterun Electricity of Vietnam, said the government would propose the cancellation of plans for reactors at the two Ninh Thuan sites to the National Assembly. He added that nuclear power was not included (or budgeted for) in the power plan which runs until 2030 and had already been approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The National Assembly voted on November 22 to support the government’s decision to abandon plans to build nuclear power plants. Energy analyst Mycle Schneider said: “Vietnam is only the latest in a long list of countries, including more recently Chile and Indonesia, that have postponed indefinitely or abandoned entirely their plans for nuclear new-build.”

The decision to abandon nuclear power was primarily based on economics. Duong Quang Thanh said nuclear power is “not economically viable because of other cheaper sources of power.”

Le Hong Tinh, vice-chair of the National Assembly Committee for Science, Technology and Environment, said the estimated cost of four reactors at the two sites in Ninh Thuan province had nearly doubled to VND400 trillion (US$18 bn; €17.9 bn). The estimated price of nuclear-generated electricity had increased from 4‒4.5 US cents / kwh to 8 cents / kwh. Vietnam has spent millions of dollars on the project so far, Tinh said, but continuing the program would add more pressure to the already high public debt.

Another media report states that Japanese and Russian consultants said that the cost has escalated from the original estimate of US$10 billion to US$27 billion (€9.5‒25.6 bn). “The plants will have to sell power at around 8.65 cents a kWh, which is almost twice the rate approved in the project license and is not competitive at all,” according to the VN Express newspaper.

Vietnam’s rising public debt, which is nearing the government’s ceiling of 65% of GDP, was another reason for the program’s cancellation, saidCao Si Kiem, a National Assembly member and former governor of the central bank………

A May 2016 report by WWF-Vietnam and Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance (VSEA) finds that 100% of Vietnam’s power can be generated by renewable energy technologies by 2050.  There are many available renewable power sources in Vietnam including solar, wind, geothermal heat, biomass and ocean energy. The report contrasts three scenarios: business as usual (with only modest growth of renewables), a Sustainable Energy Scenario (81% renewable power generation by 2050) and an Advanced Sustainable Energy Scenario (100%).

Nuclear power in South East Asia – or not

A 2015 International Energy Agency report anticipates that nuclear power will account for just 1% of electricity generation in south-east Asia by 2040.

The report states:  “All countries in Southeast Asia that are interested in deploying nuclear power face significant challenges. These include sourcing the necessary capital on favourable terms, creation of legal and regulatory frameworks, compliance with international norms and regulations, sourcing and training of skilled technical staff and regulators, and ensuring public support. … The limited role for nuclear can be explained by the high upfront capital costs, limited access to financing, and uneven and tepid public support in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Public opposition has been especially evident in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.”

A June 2016 media article began: “Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear-energy agency, is bullish on the outlook of its business in Southeast Asia after the speedy development of a project in Vietnam and a range of agreements with every country in the region except Singapore, the Philippines and Brunei.”

Nikolay Drozdov, director of Rosatom’s  international business department, said Rosatom is focusing a lot of attention on south-east Asia, reflected by the decision to establish a regional headquarters in Singapore.

Russia has nuclear cooperation agreements with seven countries in south-east Asia ‒ Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos. But not one of those seven countries ‒ or any other country in south-east Asia ‒ has nuclear power plants (the only exception is the Bataan reactor in the Philippines, built but never operated) and not one is likely to in the foreseeable future. Nor are other nuclear vendors likely to succeed where Russia is failing.

Drozdov said that after the (stalled) nuclear power project in Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia would likely be the next countries in the region to develop nuclear power.2 But Indonesia’s situation is much the same as Vietnam’s  ‒ decades of wasted efforts with little to show for it (and the same could be said about Thailand).

Malaysia’s consideration of nuclear power is preliminary. Why would Russia be making such efforts in southeast Asia given that nuclear power prospects in the region are so dim? The answer may lie with domestic Russian politics. Given Rosatom’s astonishing industry in lining up non-binding nuclear agreements with over 20 countries ‒ ‘paper power plants’ as Vladimir Slivyak calls them ‒ we can only assume that such agreements are looked on favorably by the Russian government.

Slivyak writes: “These  ‘orders’ are not contracts specifying delivery dates, costs and a clear timescale for loan repayments (in most cases the money lent by Russia for power plant construction comes with a repayment date). Eighty to ninety per cent of these reported arrangements are agreements in principle that are vague on details, and in the overwhelming majority of cases the contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. … So it is clear that [former Rosatom head Sergey] Kirienko’s team has been excellent at drawing up and signing nonbinding nuclear agreements … Actually building nuclear plants seems to be beyond them.” http://energypost.eu/vietnam-dumps-nuclear-power-economic-reasons-rest-south-east-asia-may-follow/

November 30, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, Malaysia, marketing, Vietnam | Leave a comment

Japan’s nuclear marketing disappointment: Vietnam to cancel reactor order

Buy-Japan's-nukes-2Japan’s nuclear export ambitions hit wall as Vietnam set to rip up reactor order Reiters,  By Aaron Sheldrick and Ho Binh Minh | TOKYO/HANOI, 17 Nov 16 

Vietnam is poised to abandon plans for Japanese firms to build a multi-billion dollar nuclear power plant, damaging Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to begin exporting reactors after the Fukushima disaster left the industry in deep-freeze at home.

The Japanese government said in a statement this week that it had been informed by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung that Hanoi was close to a decision to cancel the project. Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko, described the move as “very regrettable.”

Vietnam’s decision, attributed to lower demand forecasts and rising costs as well as safety concerns, also deals a broader blow to the global nuclear business. Countries from Germany to Indonesia have decided to either pull out of nuclear energy or cancel development plans in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, the world’s worst since Chernobyl in 1986.

“Vietnam is only the latest in a long list of countries, including more recently Chile and Indonesia, that have postponed indefinitely or abandoned entirely their plans for nuclear new-build,” said Mycle Schneider, a Paris-based energy analyst.

Though it has sought contracts for years, Japan has never led a nuclear project to completion overseas and Abe has lent his office’s prestige to attempts to win contracts, most recently in Turkey. The dented ambitions for exports come at a time when Japan is struggling to restart dozens of reactors shut down in the wake of Fukushima.

“This is a major blow to Japanese ambitions to, finally, export their first nuclear reactors,” said Schneider…….

DEMAND GROWTH EASING

Vietnam’s parliament is set next Tuesday to formally approve scrapping the Japanese deal, as well as the country’s first nuclear project, which was awarded to Russia’s Rosatom, according to state media. Rosatom said it would not comment until the Vietnam parliament formalized the decision.

The Japanese and Russian nuclear plants were supposed to have been located in central Ninh Thuan province…….. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-vietnam-nuclearpower-idUSKBN13D0RK

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Japan, marketing, Vietnam | 1 Comment

Russia keen to stay ahead of Franc e, USA, in marketing nuclear energy to India

fighters-marketing-1

Russia Still India’s Main Partner in Nuclear Energy Despite French, US Interest Sputnik News, 18 Nov 116 India struck its thirteenth civil nuclear deal when PM Narendra Modi visited Japan. Despite many suitors ranging from the French to the Americans, Russia is India’s preferred partner and the collaboration is breaking new ground every day. New Delhi (Sputnik) – India has signed 13 civil nuclear agreements to meet its ever increasing energy needs. But India-Russia nuclear cooperation remains the oldest and the most standout partnership because Moscow firmly believed in India’s non-proliferation credentials and helped it set up modern nuclear power plants despite Western opposition because it is not a signatory to the NPT.

Analysts consider India-Japan civil nuclear deal as a landmark even. It will help India access Japan’s nuclear market as also pave the way for US and French companies to set up nuclear reactors in India. Japanese companies such as Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi have major stakes in US and French companies as GE, Westinghouse and Areva planning to construct reactors in India. Without an India-Japan nuclear deal, it was impossible for them to set up nuclear reactors in India. But the much hyped India-Japan nuclear deal is on fragile ground. According to the terms of the deal, the moment India conducts a nuclear test, Japan will terminate the nuclear deal. This will impact not only the Japanese nuclear reactors but also the US and French reactors. ……https://sputniknews.com/business/201611171047552712-russia-india-nuclear-energy/

November 18, 2016 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby renews its pretense that it is “clean and green”

Todd Allen, senior visiting fellow for a Washington think tank called Third Way, said the industry logo Third Way
needs to remake itself because “nuclear energy stands at a crossroads.”

In a separate event last week, Tim Judson, Nuclear Information and Resource Service executive director, discussed findings of a report he authored called “Too Big to Bail Out,” in which he argued that subsidizing the nuclear industry will have deep consequences.

Peter Bradford, a former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission board member and a former state utility regulator in Maine and New York, said New York’s bailout is “the clearest example of a state capitulating” to the industry.

Nuclear industry looks to reshape image  The Blade  the U.S. nuclear industry is trying harder than ever to market itself as an irreplaceable ally in the war against climate change.

nuke-greenwash

Nuclear magicianIt is eager to get going on a new generation of plants that are smaller, leaner, faster, easier to manage,
and more attractive to private investors.

At stake could be the degree to which electricity ratepayers in Ohio and other states end up subsidizing the nuclear industry.

“There’s an important and continuing role for nuclear power in achieving these goals,” Kenneth N. Luongo, president of the Washington-based Partnership for Global Security, said at the start of a recent discussion between his group and the nuclear industry’s chief lobbying group on Capitol Hill, the Nuclear Energy Institute.

The Partnership for Global Security, originally incorporated in 1997 as the Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Council, is a think tank that promotes the convergence of 21st-century security, technology, and economic issues that affect the global nuclear industry. It has been working with the NEI on an effort called the Global Nexus Initiative, which promotes stronger public-private collaboration on nuclear issues.

“This is not a one-country issue,” Mr. Luongo said.

The NEI wants the public to reconsider how it views nuclear power ……

The NEI’s marketing campaign, though, took another hit in late October when Omaha Public Power announced it is giving up on its Fort Calhoun nuclear plant.

It is the seventh site in three years where a utility said it can no longer justify high operation costs.

Chicago-based Exelon, which owns the most nuclear plants, announced in June it will shut its single-unit Clinton and its twin-unit Quad Cities plants in Illinois in 2017 and 2018, respectively, because of poor economics.

Although Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. has said repeatedly that its Davis-Besse and Perry plants in Ohio are safe from early closure, Davis-Besse appeared on another list of at-risk plants in a Nov. 3 report issued by the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, an anti-nuclear group in Takoma Park, Md.

Three years ago, Davis-Besse was one of several plants cited at-risk for early closure in a Vermont Law School study. FirstEnergy’s chief executive officer, Charles “Chuck” Jones, said in a conference call with analysts earlier this month that the utility giant is undertaking a 12 to 18-month “strategic review” of its competitive generation business that could lead to selling off as many as 13 power plants, including Davis-Besse and plants at its other two nuclear complexes. The latter are the Perry nuclear plant east of Cleveland, and the twin-reactor Beaver Valley nuclear complex west of Pittsburgh.

“The fact is, competitive generation is weighing down the rest of the company,” Mr. Jones said. “We do not think competitive generation is a good fit.”

Though showing a profit for its third quarter, FirstEnergy lost millions of dollars during the first nine months of 2016 and expects to end the year with a loss as well.

“We are at a crossroads,” Mr. Jones said. “We have to make some tough decisions.”

Rate request

In a highly contentious rate request argued for months before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, FirstEnergy originally sought a guaranteed cash flow of up to 15 years to ensure the viability of Davis-Besse and the utility’s massive coal-fired Sammis plant in southern Ohio.

Last month, after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission struck down a modified plan, state regulators unanimously agreed to let FirstEnergy impose $132.5 million a year in new surcharges on its 1.9 million customers over the next three years. That comes to about $3 more a month for a typical residential customer. The deal is substantially less than FirstEnergy’s attempted compromise for an eight-year deal at $558 million per year for a total of $4.5 billion.

Critics have decried each proposal as a bailout, while the utility argued the money is necessary to help stabilize it.

But Ohio’s handling of FirstEnergy requests has been watched closely by other states which are undecided about the degree to which they should support nuclear power.

California, Mr. Luongo noted, has taken the position of gradually phasing out its nuclear plants, while New York decided late this summer to spend $7.6 billion over 12 years to ensure continued operation of three upstate nuclear plants……

There isn’t any uniformity regarding this issue at the moment,” Mr. Luongo said. “The market seems to be distorted, in that it is disincentivizing nuclear power.”

The discussion focused on the mix of old and new: How an investment in advanced nuclear reactors that are smaller but more efficient than today’s existing fleet could bring back the nuclear industry …..

The hope is to achieve better economies of scale with advanced nuclear reactors, standardized designs, greater involvement from private investors, and global partners.

“They’re unlikely to be wholly government financed,” Everett Redmond, NEI fuel cycle and technology policy senior director, said. “It’s key to be able to export this technology.”

Todd Allen, senior visiting fellow for a Washington think tank called Third Way, said the industry needs to remake itself because “nuclear energy stands at a crossroads.”

“Nuclear energy must evolve to keep up with changes in the energy sector,” he said……

In a separate event last week, Tim Judson, Nuclear Information and Resource Service executive director, discussed findings of a report he authored called “Too Big to Bail Out,” in which he argued that subsidizing the nuclear industry will have deep consequences.

He said his research shows half of the current fleet of nuclear plants could be uneconomical as early as 2020.

The nation should invest in other technologies instead of “obsolete infrastructure,” Mr. Judson said.

“Renewable energy and efficiency can be done for less,” he said.

Peter Bradford, a former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission board member and a former state utility regulator in Maine and New York, said New York’s bailout is “the clearest example of a state capitulating” to the industry.

Contact Tom Henry at: thenry@theblade.com, 419-724-6079, or via Twitter @ecowriterohio.  http://www.toledoblade.com/Energy/2016/11/13/Nuclear-industry-looks-to-reshape-image-It-can-help-meet-carbon-reduction-goals-but-can-t-compete-on-cost.html

November 14, 2016 Posted by | marketing, spinbuster, USA | 1 Comment

India providing a lifeline to Japan’s desperate nuclear industry

Buy-Japan's-nukes-2Japan’s Nuclear Industry Finds a Lifeline in India After Foundering Elsewhere, NYT, NOV. 11, 2016 TOKYO — Despite objections from  antinuclear campaigners, Japan’s government cleared the way on Friday for companies that build nuclear power plants to sell their technology to India — one of the few nations planning big expansions in atomic energy — by signing a cooperation agreement with the South Asian country.

The deal is a lifeline for the Japanese nuclear power industry, which has been foundering since meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in northeastern Japan in 2011. Plans to build a dozen new reactors in Japan were canceled after that, a gut punch for some of the country’s biggest industrial conglomerates, including Toshiba and Hitachi.With the domestic market moribund, Japanese companies had been pursuing deals abroad, but success was elusive.

November 12, 2016 Posted by | India, Japan, marketing | Leave a comment

Southeast Asia now a disappointment to the global nuclear marketing drive

market-disappointeddespite the news here and there about the conclusions of new nuclear cooperation agreements by ASEAN nations, it is very difficult to conceive that a nuclear power plant will actually be built in one of these countries

Nuclear Energy in Southeast Asia: A Bridge Too Far?
Hopes for a nuclear renaissance in Southeast Asia have proven overly ambitious.
The Diplomat By Viet Phuong Nguyen November 09, 2016 In the late 2000s, energy forecasts began to use the term “nuclear renaissance” to refer to the fast-growing nuclear power program of China, and to the emergence of the so-called “nuclear aspirants” embarking on their first nuclear power projects. Many among these newcomers are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). For this reason, nuclear suppliers like the United States, Russia, Japan, and South Korea have been particularly active in signing cooperation agreements with ASEAN nations or supporting these countries to explore the feasibility of nuclear energy.

However, after almost a decade of pondering the nuclear option, no ASEAN state has made the decision to go nuclear. This article will discuss the evolution of the nuclear endeavor in Southeast Asian nations in order to show that ASEAN may not be a potential market for nuclear energy as the major vendors hoped.

The Philippines  Under the authoritarian regime of Ferdinand Marcos, the Philippines became the first Southeast Asian country to build a nuclear power plant after the Philippine government awarded the American company Westinghouse with a 600-MW project in Bataan in 1973. Facing a fierce anti-nuclear movement and allegations of corruption, the construction of the Bataan nuclear power plant was only completed in 1984. With the overthrow of the Marcos regime in 1986, however, the ill-fated plant has since been mothballed without a single day of operation.

Having invested more than $2 billion for the construction of the nuclear project, and probably another significant amount to maintain it in good condition, the Philippine government has explored plans to revive the Bataan project or to convert it into a thermal power station. None of these plans were seriously considered due to the high projected cost and strong public opposition, particularly from the Catholic Church. Most recently, speaking at a nuclear conference in Manila, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi proposed the idea of restarting the Bataan plant to cope with the energy demand of the country, only to be quickly rebuffed by the newly-elected Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, citing safety and security concerns.

Vietnam

Among the potential customers of nuclear energy in Southeast Asia, Vietnam been has been considered the most serious given its high-profile agreements with Russia and Japan on the construction of two plants in Ninh Thuan province, and its ambitious plan to build up to ten nuclear units by 2030. In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011, when neighboring states like China or Thailand decided to either slow down their nuclear programs or withdraw from the race altogether, the Vietnamese government still reiterated their commitment to follow through with the announced plan and even broadened the country’s nuclear cooperation by signing a nuclear agreement with the United States (commonly known as the “123 Agreement”) in 2014.

After several years of progress, the first signs of trouble in the Ninh Thuan nuclear project came in late 2015 when it was reported that the start of the first unit’s construction would likely be delayed for six years, from the initially planned 2016 to 2022, with the operation date moved further to July 2028. Later that year, Vu Ngoc Hoang, the second-in-command of the Vietnam Communist Party’s propaganda machine, surprised the media and the public with an article alluding to a disagreement among the Party’s leadership on the feasibility of the Ninh Thuan project and proposing to stop the nuclear development program for good. Although Hoang retired not long after the article’s publication, considering the Party’s consensus-driven process of policy making and Hoang’s seniority within the Communist Party as a member of the Party’s Central Committee, it is difficult not to wonder about a dire future for nuclear energy in Vietnam.

Signs of a possible moratorium on or even termination of nuclear development in Vietnam have become apparent since early 2016 with the promulgation of the revised National Electricity Development Plan. The updated plan confirmed the 2028 delay for Ninh Thuan, alongside a significant drop of nuclear power estimates by 2030 (from 10.1 percent in the original plan down to 5.7 percent). In October 2016, “issues related to the construction of the nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan” were announced by the Fourth Plenum of the new Central Committee, implying that the public will hear soon about the fate of the nuclear project. One month later, the Japanese news agency Kyodo confirmed the Vietnam Communist Party’s decision to postpone both the Russian and Japanese nuclear power projects due to the current financial constraints of the country. Interestingly enough, this definitive confirmation came from a foreign outlet, whereas in recent months Vietnamese domestic media has still focused on debating the necessity of nuclear energy for the country or discussing the risks of the Chinese nuclear plants that have been built and operated near the border with Vietnam.

Other Southeast Asian States

Among the Southeast Asian states, Thailand was the first country to conclude the 123 Agreement with the United States, as well as the earliest contender in the nuclear race, with proposals dating back to the 1960s. After several dormant decades due to safety concerns and the abundance of natural gas, nuclear advocacy made a comeback in Thailand in the 2000s when the Thai government contracted the consulting firm Burns and Roe to study the feasibility of a nuclear power project in the country. However, this renewed interest in nuclear energy has met with intense public opposition, especially after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, to the point that the Thai government has had to indefinitely postpone its nuclear endeavor. As a result, the Thai government did not seek to extend the 123 Agreement, when the agreement expired in 2014. Extending the 123 Agreement is a prerequisite condition if Thailand wants to import nuclear technologies of U.S. origin.

Having one of the more advanced nuclear programs in the region, Indonesia has considered introducing nuclear energy to decrease the country’s dependence on coal and oil since the early 1990s. However, a combination of precarious geological conditions, public opposition, and lack of political determination has made nuclear an undesirable choice in Indonesia’s energy planning. Lately, Indonesian officials reportedly emphasized that nuclear energy would only be considered beyond 2025 if the country’s renewable energy target cannot be met by other options.

The last potential nuclear energy user in the ASEAN community is Malaysia, where the nuclear option has been seriously considered since the late 2000s. Despite having a careful and well-organized development plan, the Malaysian government has continuously moved back the starting date of the country’s first nuclear project in order to gain public support and adjust the technical and financial feasibility of the project. Lately, the CEO of the Malaysian Nuclear Power Corporation stated that 2030 is the earliest date possible for the construction of the first nuclear plant in Malaysia.

Finally, despite once possessing a controversial nuclear research program, the reformed Myanmar has halted a major part of its nuclear activities in order to show its willingness for political transparency and international cooperation. Furthermore, together with Cambodia and Laos, Myanmar does not have the financial capacity, manpower, or necessary infrastructure for such a complex and expensive project as a nuclear power plant. On the other hand, the leading nation of ASEAN in these aspects – Singapore – has made an official decision to not explore the nuclear option, which is understandable given its limited landmass and environmental concerns.

Conclusions

In reviewing the history of nuclear development (or lack thereof) in Southeast Asia, one can identify the major obstacles for nuclear advocacy, namely the anti-nuclear sentiment, persistent safety concerns, and a lack of consistent political willingness from Southeast Asian governments. Even though nuclear energy has been considered an attractive option in the fight against climate change, which has emerged as one of the most important threats to the region, it is unlikely that those obstacles can be alleviated anytime soon. Rather, similar to the situation in South Korea, where nuclear acceptance has deteriorated significantly in the past two decades, the growing middle class in ASEAN nations will probably become more concerned about environmental issues, of which nuclear energy has always been one of the most poignant.

One example of the increasing power of the environmentalist movement can be found in Vietnam, where mass protests occurred at unprecedented scale in reaction to the large-scale fish kill in the coastal region due to chemical spill from a Taiwan-owned steel factory. Participants in these protests included local people, religious leaders, activists, and lawyers; a similar grouping was observed during the anti-nuclear activities that led to the shutdown of the Bataan nuclear power plant in the Philippines during the 1980s. Therefore, despite the news here and there about the conclusions of new nuclear cooperation agreements by ASEAN nations, it is very difficult to conceive that a nuclear power plant will actually be built in one of these countries, at least in the next one or two decades.

Viet Phuong Nguyen is a predoctoral fellow in the Belfer Center’s International Security Program and Project on Managing the Atom. He is a Ph.D. candidate in nuclear engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) after receiving a B.Sc. in nuclear physics from the Vietnam National University and a M.Sc. in nuclear engineering from KAIST.  http://thediplomat.com/2016/11/nuclear-energy-in-southeast-asia-a-bridge-too-far/

November 11, 2016 Posted by | ASIA, marketing | Leave a comment

China now marketing its nukes to Ukraine

Buy-China-nukes-1Energoatom expands cooperation with CNNP, NASA and IDOM Nuclear Services, WNN 08 November 2016 Ukrainian nuclear power plant operator Energoatom has agreed to enhance its cooperation with Chinese, Argentinian and Spanish companies – respectively, China National Nuclear Power (CNNP), Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA (NASA) and IDOM Nuclear Services………

Energoatom, which is also state-owned, operates four nuclear power plants – Zaporozhe, Rovno, South Ukraine and Khmelnitsky – which comprise 15 nuclear reactors, including 13 VVER-1000s and two VVER-440s with a total capacity of 13,835 MWe. In July last year, the Ukrainian government approved a pilot project, named the “energy bridge”, to transfer electricity from unit 2 of the Khmelnitsky plant to the European Union.

Representatives from CNNP, which is a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corporation, presented its strategy to upgrade units at the Tianwan nuclear power plant. Beijing-based CNNP operates 12 nuclear power plants with an installed capacity of 9773 MWe……..http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Energoatom-expands-cooperation-with-CNNP-NASA-and-IDOM-Nuclear-Services-08111601.html

November 11, 2016 Posted by | China, marketing, Ukraine | 1 Comment

China determined to export nuclear expertise: it all hangs on UK Hinkley project

Buy-China-nukes-1Xi says UK nuclear success is crucial, Shanghai Daily, Source: Agencies | November 1, 2016, PRESIDENT Xi Jinping said yesterday China and France should properly implement the Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Britain, the first new UK nuclear power plant for two decades.

Xi made the remarks when meeting with visiting French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

Chinese and French companies signed the agreement to build an 18 billion pound (US$21.9 billion) nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C during Xi’s state visit to Britain in October last year. The CGN-led Chinese consortium and French company EDF respectively take 33.5 percent and 66.5 percent stakes.

The Hinkley Point project finally got the go-ahead after Britain’s new prime minister Theresa May delayed the deal because of national security concerns.

As part of the agreement, EDF will help CGN to gain a license to build its own nuclear reactor, Hualong, in Britain, whose nuclear regulatory regime is seen as one of the most stringent in the world.

China is keen to establish itself as an exporter of nuclear expertise so successfully building a plant in the UK would open the door to other markets……..

France and China would set up a fund for joint investment in overseas projects, he said yesterday. “Hinkley Point is a very good example of what we’re going to do together, to win contracts in third markets and in all sectors.”

The project to build the UK nuclear power plant station was “a model that we support everywhere, including in Africa and Asia,” he said.

The new joint fund would be set up soon, he said, without giving further details……….

China and France also signed a social insurance agreement yesterday that will exempt company employees assigned to work in each other’s countries from the mandatory social insurance contributions. http://www.shanghaidaily.com/nation/Xi-says-UK-nuclear-success-is-crucial/shdaily.shtml

November 4, 2016 Posted by | China, marketing | Leave a comment

Russia now trying to sell nuclear reactors to Myanmar

Russia, Myanmar launch working body for nuclear tech cooperation, Myanmar Times, By Aung Shin   |  Friday, 28 October 

rosatom

Russia and Myanmar this week established a working body for nuclear technology cooperation, according to officials. 

Little is known about the bilateral taskforce, including who is involved or even how many members are included. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate in nuclear technology for peaceful purposes in June last year.

According to a Ministry of Education official, the working body is another step in developing nuclear technology with the help of Russia.

Russian government officials are now in Nay Pyi Taw to discuss further steps for the MoU, said U Khin Maung Latt, director general of the Department of Technology Promotion and Coordination (DTPC) under the Ministry of Education.

“We have a roadmap of further steps for the MoU … We have discussed and agreed for further cooperation,” he said……..

Since 2007 Russia and Myanmar have had an inter-governmental agreement regarding nuclear technology and building a nuclear research centre, according to Rosatom.

Russia has trained more than 700 Myanmar students in nuclear and nuclear-related technologies in the past 10 years.

The Russian state firm is seeking potential investment opportunities in the Southeast Asian region, and is offering comprehensive nuclear technology and experience, said Rosatom officials. The company is building two nuclear power units in Vietnam, and has also won a tender for the preliminary design of a 10-megawatt reactor in Indonesia (see map).

Rosatom has two operating nuclear reactors in India and China, with two more in each country under construction. The Russian state-owned company has also won a project to construct a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh…….http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/nay-pyi-taw/23368-russia-myanmar-launch-working-body-for-nuclear-tech-cooperation.html

October 29, 2016 Posted by | ASIA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

South Korea’s State nuclear company expects to win $billions from marketing nuclear operations to United Arab Emirates

Buy-S-Korea-nukesS.Korea signs on to venture to operate UAE’s 1st nuclear power plant http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL3N1C32ZG

SEOUL Oct 20 (Reuters) – State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) agreed to invest $900 million in a company operating the first nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates, South Korea’s energy ministry said on Thursday.

KEPCO expects the deal to boost its revenue by nearly $50 billion over the next 60 years, according to a statement from the ministry.

KEPCO and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC) signed the deal to co-invest in the company managing and operating the UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant for the next six decades, the ministry statement said.

In 2009, a KEPCO-led consortium won a contract to build the four 1,400 megawatt nuclear reactors that are being constructed at the Barakah plant to meet the UAE’s surging demand for electricity.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-biggest user of nuclear power, constructs and operates its reactors through KEPCO. (Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Tom Hogue)

 

October 22, 2016 Posted by | marketing, South Korea, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

Modi and Putin revive Cold War bond with lucrative agreements between two nations

Russian-Bearflag-indiaIndia-Russia ties boosted by defence, energy deals, Straits Times, OCT 16, 2016, Modi and Putin revive Cold War bond with lucrative agreements between two nations  BENAULIM (India) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a raft of lucrative defence and energy pacts yesterday following talks aimed at reinvigorating ties between the former Cold War allies.

Mr Modi hailed Mr Putin as an “old friend” after their meeting in the Indian state of Goa, where leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) were gathering for a summit.

“Your leadership has provided stability and substance to our strategic partnership,” Mr Modi said alongside Mr Putin at a beachside resort, after officials signed up to 20 agreements between the two nations……..

They also signed an initial agreement on India’s purchase of Russia’s state-of-the-art S400 missile defence system, capable of shooting down multiple incoming missiles, although there were no details on a timeframe for delivery. The system would strengthen India’s defences along its borders with China and Pakistan……..

The leaders also signed a framework agreement to supply more reactors to a nuclear plant in Kudankulam in southern India, which is attempting to reduce its reliance on highly polluting coal for power. Mr Putin said that Russia would be able to build a dozen nuclear reactors in India over the next 20 years to back Mr Modi’s growth strategy for Asia’s third-largest economy, which continues to suffer power shortages………

Mr Modi was expected to hold talks with China’s President Xi Jinping late yesterday, also in the hope of boosting investment and trade. Relations, however, have been frustrated by Beijing’s decision so far to block New Delhi’s entry to a nuclear trade group, among other issues. http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/india-russia-ties-boosted-by-defence-energy-deals

October 18, 2016 Posted by | India, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

China going allout to market nuclear reactors to Asia, Europe, Africa and Middle East

Buy-China-nukes-1China’s nuclear plant makers seek new markets along the ancient Silk Road into Asia, Europe, Africa and Middle East SCMP, 04 April, 2016

‘One belt, one road’ policy for financing and support for infrastructure projects is helping nuclear plant constructors expand into overseas markets………The policy was first proposed in 2013 to promote infrastructure construction deals overseas along with goods and services trade along the ancient Silk Road from China to Europe and along the ancient maritime trade route linking China to southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The state is offering financing at a time when China’s economy grew at the slowest rate in 25 years and its industry faces severe overcapacity problems.

Beijing has encouraged local firms to become involved in infrastructure projects in southeast Asia, Europe and Africa. Chinese nuclear reactor builders are a growing force in the global nuclear industry.

“The export of nuclear reactors will become one of the key pillars for executing China’s one belt, one road strategy,” Zheshang Securities analyst Zheng Dandan said………

Three Chinese state-backed firms are actively pursuing opportunities to export their reactor construction expertise, especially in developing nations that do not have their own construction capabilities.

Beijing-based projects developer China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) chairman Sun Qin was quoted by state media China News Service last month as saying that 80 per cent of the up to 300 new reactors projected to be built by 2030 globally could be in ‘one belt, one road’ nations.

CNNC wants to build 30 reactors in such nations, and will use Argentina as a base to develop the South American market, Algeria for reaching out to the greater African market and Pakistan where it is building a project to develop the Asian market, Sun was reported as saying.

State Power Investment, formed via the merger of one of the nation’s “big five” power generators China Power Investment and general contractor State Nuclear Power Technology last year, is also pursuing overseas projects.

It has partnered with the US nuclear technology powerhouse Westinghouse to negotiate a potential deal to build a nuclear power project in Turkey. It has also pursued opportunities in South Africa.

Shenzhen-based projects developer China General Nuclear Power is working towards winning potential projects in Britain, Kenya and southeast Asia. It won one bid to build a plant in Romania.

The mainland leadership has made the globalisation of Chinese firms a key part of its economic reform plans, looking to establish the nation as a major provider of value-added and high-end goods and services. In a series of articles this week, the South China Morning Post examines the key industries targeting overseas expansion, beginning with the nuclear power industry.

October 12, 2016 Posted by | China, marketing | Leave a comment

Russia spreading its influence, seeking lithium deal with Chile

Russian-BearRussian nuclear firm Rosatom eyes Chilean lithium http://www.reuters.com/article/us-rosatom-chile-idUSKCN1220LO By Rosalba O’Brien | SANTIAGO 2 Oct 16 Russian state nuclear power plant giant Rosatom sent lobbyists to meet with the Chilean government and discuss “collaboration in possible lithium projects,” a government website revealed at the weekend.

Four representatives of the company met with Mining Deputy Minister Igancio Moreno in September, according to information published on the government’s lobbying transparent website.

Rosatom has signed billions of dollars worth of overseas contracts and is seen as a tool for Russia to wield political influence abroad.

This year, it signed a contract to build a nuclear research center in Chile’s neighbor Bolivia. It also has interests in several other Latin American countries.

Chile itself has no nuclear power plants and is not expected to build any, as it is one of the world’s most seismically active countries and is regularly shaken by strong earthquakes.

But Chile does have one of the world’s most plentiful supplies of lithium, a mineral used in rechargeable batteries and electronics that has seen rocketing interest and a sharp price rise in recent months on hopes of an electric vehicle boom.

Lithium also has applications for the nuclear industry. As a consequence, the Chilean government considers lithium a “strategic mineral,” leasing out rights and limiting its production.

Most lithium extraction projects involve partnership with the government and state copper miner Codelco [COBRE.UL] is expected to decide on a partner to develop its own lithium assets in the first quarter of next year.

October 3, 2016 Posted by | marketing, Russia, SOUTH AMERICA | Leave a comment

Japan and India to make nuclear marketing deal in November

nuclear-marketing-crapJapan, India to sign nuclear cooperation deal in November – report   http://www.firstpost.com/fwire/japan-india-to-sign-nuclear-cooperation-deal-in-november-report-reuters-3030874.html First Post 2 Oct 16  Reuters  TOKYO Japan and India are likely to sign a civil nuclear cooperation pact during a visit to Japan by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in mid-November, the Mainichi newspaper reported on Saturday.The governments of Asia’s second- and third-largest economies are leaning toward holding a summit meeting between Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, the report said, citing unidentified diplomatic sources from both nations.The two leaders last December reached a basic agreement for cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, but they stopped short of signing the agreement, citing outstanding technical and legal differences.Japan, the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack, has been demanding additional non-proliferation guarantees from India, which has a nuclear weapons programme, before exporting nuclear reactors.

India and Japan have been negotiating the nuclear energy deal since Japan’s ally, the United States, opened the way for nuclear commerce with India, which has shunned the global Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The two countries have reached a basic agreement during the working level negotiations that Japan would halt cooperation immediately if India conducted a nuclear test, the report added.A final deal with Japan would benefit U.S. firms. India has already given land for nuclear plants to GE-Hitachi – which is an alliance between the U.S. and Japanese firms – and to Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric Company.

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

October 3, 2016 Posted by | India, Japan, marketing | Leave a comment