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Developing countries should not fall victim to civil nuclear energy and indebtedness to China

Why the Civil Nuclear Trap Is Part and Parcel of the Belt and Road Strategy
Civil nuclear energy presents grave pitfalls in terms of cost, innovation and security that BRI countries cannot and should not afford. The Diplomat   By Sam Reynolds July 05, 2018 

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July 6, 2018 Posted by | China, marketing | Leave a comment

In the race to sell off nuclear power to Saudi Arabia, South Korea looks like the winner

South Korea’s KEPCO shortlisted to bid for Saudi nuclear project https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-southkorea-nuclear-saudi/south-koreas-kepco-shortlisted-to-bid-for-saudi-nuclear-project-idUKKBN1JR1G4, Reuters Staff, 1 July 18   SEOUL  – State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (015760.KS) (KEPCO) had been shortlisted to bid for a nuclear project in Saudi Arabia along with the United States, France, China and Russia, South Korea’s energy ministry said on Sunday.

“We were informed by our Saudi counterpart, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, that KEPCO was shortlisted for a nuclear project in Saudi Arabia,” the ministry said in a statement.

The statement said the winner of the tender was expected to be chosen in 2019. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil producer, plans to build two nuclear plants to diversify its energy supply and has been in talks with companies from South Korea, the United States, Russia and China for the tender.

In May, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih met South Korean Energy Minister Paik Un-gyu in Seoul. Falih told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event that he was “optimistic” about South Korea being on the tender shortlist.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-biggest nuclear power user, is seeking to export its nuclear reactors abroad.

In 2009, a South Korean consortium led by KEPCO won an $18.6 billion (14.08 billion pounds) deal to construct four nuclear plants in the United Arab Emirates, the country’s ever nuclear export success.

KEPCO was also selected as a preferred bidder in December last year for Toshiba’s NuGen nuclear project in Britain and the Korean company planned to talk with Toshiba to buy a stake in the project.

Reporting By Jane Chung and Cynthia Kim. Editing by Jane Merriman

July 2, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Saudi Arabia, South Korea | Leave a comment

USA’s General Electric and France’s EDF getting together to market to India huge and costly nuclear station

France’s EDF, GE to co-build reactors for huge Indian nuclear plant, Reuters Staff, NEW DELHI (Reuters) 28 June 18- GE and French utility EDF have agreed to team to build six reactors for a nuclear power project in western India, which is due to be the world’s biggest when finished……… The six European Pressurised Water reactors will be for a 9,900 mw nuclear power project at Jaitapur, south of Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra, GE and EDF said in a joint statement released on Tuesday…….

EDF will be responsible for engineering integration of the entire project, while GE Power will design the critical part of the plant and supply its main components, the companies said.

GE will also provide operational support services and a training programme to meet the needs of the state-run Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd, the plant’s owner and operator.

Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Alexander Smith https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-nuclear-ge/frances-edf-ge-to-co-build-reactors-for-huge-indian-nuclear-plant-idUSKBN1JM1J8

June 29, 2018 Posted by | France, India, marketing, USA | Leave a comment

Russia, Rwanda establish nuclear energy ties

 WNN, 27 June 2018

Russia’s Rosatom and the Ministry of Infrastructure of Rwanda have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The document was signed on 22 June by Rosatom Deputy Director General Nikolay Spassky and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Rwanda to the Russian Federation Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya……

Rosatom signed a similar MoU in February with the Ministry of Scientific Research and Technological Innovations of the Republic of Congo, and with the Kenyan Council for nuclear energy in June 2016. http://world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Russia-Rwanda-establish-nuclear-energy-ties-26061801.html

June 29, 2018 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Jordan knocks back Russia’s $10 billion nuclear power plant , but contemplates”small floating reactor”

Jordan turns down a Rosatom plant, but dangles possible small reactor collaboration with Russia  In a blow to the international business interests of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Jordan has scrapped a plan to build a $10 billion nuclear power plant with Moscow’s help. Bellona,   by Charles Digges

In a blow to the international business interests of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Jordan has scrapped a plan to build a $10 billion nuclear power plant with Moscow’s help.

Jordan’s Atomic Energy Commission, the JAEC, said on Monday that the project, after three years of study and consideration, had collapsed over disagreements on how to finance the the build, which would have included two nuclear reactors built by Rosatom.

But canceling the larger plant, said the JAEC, doesn’t mean Jordan won’t be working with Russia on any nuclear projects at all. According to the commission, it’s possible that Rosatom would furnish the Mediterranean nation with small modular reactors instead.

On Monday, the commission said in a statement that the larger project was off because the commercial loans Rosatom wanted Joran to secure to finance construction would drive up the cost of the electricity the plant would eventually produce.
………Without specifically mentioning the cancellation of the larger plant, Rosatom said in a statement on May 27 that it and JAEC had decided to “intensify and step up” cooperation on small modular reactors and form a joint feasibility study for such a project based on Russian designs.

Yet what these reactors might consist of remains somewhat mysterious. Russia has signed agreements with other countries for work on small-scale reactors, most recently Sudan, to which it vaguely promised to build a floating nuclear power plant.

…… Rosatom repeatedly said that foreign customers would flock to Moscow to order floating nuclear power plants of its own.

Those orders have yet to materialize, but that hasn’t stopped Rosatom from repeating the mantra that floating plants will be a prime offering to its foreign customers. Whether an offer to build Jordan a floating plant will come to pass remains unknown. But increasingly, the notion of floating plants seems synonymous with Rosatom’s small reactor development schemes. http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2018-06-jordan-turns-down-a-rosatom-plant-but-dangles-possible-small-reactor-collaboration-with-russia

June 15, 2018 Posted by | Jordan, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia, France, China compete to develop nuclear power station in Bulgaria

Bulgaria Moves To Revive Russian Nuclear Project Suspended In 2012   https://www.rferl.org/a/bulgaria-moves-revive-russian-nuclear-project-belene-suspended-2012/29279066.html

The Bulgarian parliament has approved a plan to revive the Belene nuclear power plant five years after the Russian project was suspended due to financing problems and concerns about relying too heavily on Russian energy.

The parliament on June 7 approved by 172 to 14 Prime Minister Boyko Borisov’s proposal to develop a plan to resume construction of the plant on the Danube River by the end of October.

Bulgaria had already spent around $1.8 billion on the plant when the government in 2012 put a moratorium on further workunder pressure from the United States and European Union to limit its energy dependence on Russia.

Bulgaria also suspended the joint project with Russian company Atomstroyexport because it failed to find any foreign investors prepared to shoulder its spiralling costs, estimated at about $11.8 billion in total.

The suspension angered Russia, which had hoped to use Belene as an EU showcase for its new generation of pressurized water reactors.

Sofia had to pay more than 620 million euros to Russia’s Rosatom for scrapping the project, but it also received nuclear parts for two 1,000 megawatt reactors, which were conserved and maintained.

Last week, Energy Minister Temenujka Petkova said that a campaign to pick a strategic investor for the project would be launched by the end of 2018.

Russia’s Rosatom has said it will make another bid to complete the project. Also in the running are Chinese state nuclear company CNNC and France’s Framatome, which is majority controlled by EDF.

Petkova said the government does not want to commit more public funds, extend state guarantees for any loan, or sign any long-term electricity supply deals to make the project viable.

Vadim Titov, director of Rosatom Central Europe, told a Bulgarian energy conference on June 7 that the Russian company is ready to start talks with the Bulgarian authorities on reviving the project.

The Belene plant’s two 1,000 megawatt reactors were intended to replace four old Soviet-built units that were shut down more than a decade ago amid security concerns at the only existing nuclear plant in Bulgaria, at Kozloduy.

There are still two Soviet-built operational reactors at Kozloduy, dating back to 1987 and 1991, which provide about 30 percent of the country’s electricity.

Dozens of Bulgarians protested outside parliament against the government’s plans for Belene on June 7, saying the project’s benefits were not enough to justify its costs and contending that it has been a source of corrupt practices for decades.

June 8, 2018 Posted by | Bulgaria, marketing | Leave a comment

Delay in start-up for United Arab Emirates nuclear reactor, marketed by South Korea

UAE’s first nuclear reactor start-up delayed, MEMO, May 27, 2018 

May 28, 2018 Posted by | marketing, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

Indian and Russian governments getting together to market nuclear power globally

PM Modi, Vladimir Putin May Discuss Energy, Nuclear Issues At ‘No-Agenda’ Summit
With China, reducing the tension on the border was important but with Russia, a trusted all-weather partner, increasing trade ties and stepping up defence and atomic energy cooperation could be on agenda

May 22, 2018 Posted by | India, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

China marketing nuclear power to Uganda

China to help Uganda build nuclear power plants, Reuters Staff, 17 May 18 KAMPALA (Reuters) – China will help Uganda build and operate nuclear power plants under a deal signed last week.

Uganda has some uranium deposits and President Yoweri Museveni has said his government was keen to exploit them for potential nuclear energy development.

Eight potential sites have been identified in the country’s central, southwest and northern regions that could potentially host nuclear power plants, the government said on Thursday. It signed a deal with Russia last year to cooperate on nuclear power.

China is already a major investor in Ugandan infrastructure projects and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) signed a memorandum of understanding on May 11 to help Uganda build capacity “in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes”, Uganda’s energy ministry said in a statement issued on Thursday……

Co-operation between CNNC and Uganda will involve the development of nuclear power infrastructure including the design, construction and operation of nuclear power plants.

In June last year Uganda signed a similar memorandum of understanding with Russian State Atomic Energy Cooperation (ROSATOM) to facilitate the two countries’ cooperation on nuclear power.

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Susan Fenton https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uganda-energy/china-to-help-uganda-build-nuclear-power-plants-idUSKCN1II219

May 18, 2018 Posted by | AFRICA, China, marketing | Leave a comment

Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom trying to market nuclear power to Chile, China, Cuba, Finland, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain and Zambia

World Nuclear News 16th May 2018 Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear corporation, yesterday signed a series of agreements with overseas companies during the Atomexpo conference and exhibition being held this week in Sochi, Russia. The agreements, with Chile, China, Cuba, Finland, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Saudi
Arabia, Serbia, Spain and Zambia, include the engineering and medical
sectors, among others.
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Rosatom-expands-overseas-links-with-new-agreements-16051801.html

May 18, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Bechtel engineering very happy at prospect of selling nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia

US engineering giant sees ‘tremendous opportunity’ in Saudi nuclear energy plans https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/10/bechtel-executive-us-firms-should-be-involved-in-saudi-nuclear-plans.html  –Saheli Roy Choudhury

  • A senior executive at engineering giant Bechtel told CNBC on Thursday that U.S. businesses should be involved in Saudi Arabia’s civilian nuclear energy ambitions.
  • The presence of American firms would likely be welcomed by the Saudis and should also be welcomed by the U.S. government, according to Stuart Jones, regional president for Europe and Middle East at Bechtel.
  • Saudi Arabia has plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 to 25 years, costing more than $80 billion.

May 11, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, marketing, Saudi Arabia, USA | 1 Comment

France and other countries keen to make money out of selling nuclear submarine technology to India

Thales looking at role in India’s nuclear submarine project, Gulf News 22 Apr 18India is expected to spend close to $300 billion in the next five years in procuring defence equipment and almost all major global defence firms are eyeing a slice of it

Published: 16:58 April 22, 2018  New Delhi: French defence company Thales has said it is working on doubling its footprint in India by expanding its overall product portfolios with a major focus on India’s ambitious project to build a fleet of nuclear-powered attack submarine………. India has been working on a secret project to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines which are expected to boost the Navy’s overall strike capabilities. ……https://gulfnews.com/news/asia/india/thales-looking-at-role-in-india-s-nuclear-submarine-project-1.2209632

April 22, 2018 Posted by | India, marketing | Leave a comment

USA government keen to promote Westinghouse sales of nuclear power projects to India

U.S. backs Westinghouse to finish nuclear power projects in India, Reuters Staff, Reporting by Nidhi Verma and Sudarshan Varadhan; Writing by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Susan Fenton  NEW DELHI (Reuters) 17 Apr 18  – Westinghouse Electric, which filed for bankruptcy last year, is now “lean and mean and ready to get to work” on its projects to build nuclear reactors in India, U.S. energy secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday.

The show of support by Perry came after Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse’s bankruptcy filing had raised doubts about the proposed construction of six nuclear reactors in India’s Andhra Pradesh state.

 The agreement to build reactors, announced in 2016, was the result of a decade of diplomatic efforts as part of a U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement signed in 2008.

“Nobody in the world makes better reactors than Westinghouse,” Perry told journalists after a meeting with India’s oil and gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi.“They had some challenges in the past from its business practices. We leave that where it is. The bottom line is, that’s all behind them. They are lean and mean and ready to get to the work.”

Westinghouse, owned by Japan’s Toshiba Corp (6502.T) which is to be bought by a unit of Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO) (BAM.N), is one of the world’s leading suppliers of nuclear fuel and provides some form of service to 80 percent of the world’s 450 commercial reactors.

Perry and Pradhan released a joint statement to “reaffirm their strong commitment to early and full implementation of our civil nuclear partnership, including the Westinghouse civil nuclear project”. They also said the two countries would deepen cooperation on oil and gas, power, renewable energy and coal.

April 18, 2018 Posted by | India, marketing, USA | Leave a comment

Global nuclear power firms scrambling to market nuclear technology to Middle East countries

Nuclear power firms woo Middle East http://www.eco-business.com/news/nuclear-power-firms-woo-middle-east/   Middle Eastern countries are welcoming nuclear power firms promising to meet their energy needs, while most of the world worries over reactor costs.   from Climate News Network. 5 Apr 18

Nuclear power firms are scrambling to sell reactors to countries in one of the most troubled parts of the world, the Middle East. Many lack domestic customers and see this new market as a potential lifesaver.

A report last year by the US-based Center for Climate & Security included the Middle East in a list of what it called “potential crisis regions where combining security, climate, and nuclear risks must be addressed urgently.”

The biggest prize is the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has announced plans to build 16 nuclear plants over the next 25 years at a cost of US$80 billion, part of an effort to diversify away from fossil fuels. South Korea, China, France, Russia, Japan and the United States are all bidding to build them.

In a region where renewables are half the price of nuclear power – because the sun shines for longer and with greater intensity than almost anywhere else in the world – building new nuclear plants may seem strange.

Saudi Arabia, which is also investing heavily in solar power, points to rapidly rising domestic demand for electricity and says renewables will not provide enough for its needs.

Other countries in the region that are already building or have signed contracts to build new reactors are Iran, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey.

All say the decision to go for nuclear power is entirely a consequence of the local need for more electricity, although perhaps the Saudi rulers also have an eye on their power rival Iran, which already has an operating nuclear power station and is building more.

Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince who effectively runs Saudi Arabia for his father King Salman, was asked about this on the US TV network CBS in March. He replied: “Saudi Arabia doesn’t want to own a nuclear bomb. But without a doubt, if Iran develops a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.”

Rival contenders

Despite this, the Trump administration remains keen to sell its Westinghouse-designed nuclear power stations to the Saudis. Russia, China, Japan and South Korea also want to sell their own designs.

As well as the need to keep their national nuclear companies ticking over and grabbing lucrative exports, all these countries would welcome the political influence that providing such important infrastructure would give them in the Middle East.

Well ahead of Saudi Arabia in developing nuclear power is the neighbouring United Arab Emirates. Its first reactor was due to open this year and is almost complete, though its start-up date has been pushed back to 2019.

The UAE’s $24.4bn Barakah power plant is the world’s largest currently under construction. It will contain four reactors, is being built by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and appears to be going well.

Too few operators

The postponement seems not to have been caused by construction delays but by lack of trained crew to operate the first of the four reactors. When it is up and running, the UAE will become the first country to start operating a nuclear plant in more than 20 years.

Again, the country has plenty of oil reserves and renewable resources, but wants nuclear power to provide a guaranteed electricity supply instead of having to rely on imported gas.

Jordan, which has no fossil fuel resource, and Egypt, with the region’s largest population, are also going nuclear. In both cases they have signed deals with the Russian state-owned giant Rosatom. Egypt has signed a deal for four nuclear plants costing $30bn, and Jordan for an energy package worth $12bn, but which also includes some American involvement, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Avoiding imports

Turkey, again a populous nation that has to import most of its energy in the form of fossil fuels, is building a nuclear power station at Akkuyu on its Mediterranean coast in partnership with Rosatom. The first reactor was expected to be operating by now, but the opening date has been put back to 2020. It has other plants planned on its northern Black Sea coast.

This sudden enthusiasm for nuclear power in such a volatile region has prompted a debate about some governments’ motives. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has long had the means to make nuclear weapons with its Negev Nuclear Research centre in the desert near Dimona.

It is already alarmed by Iran’s nuclear programme. A number of other potentially hostile states may also soon have the means to produce highly enriched uranium or plutonium.

If they do, they will face an already fully armed Israel. According to an estimate by the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Israel, which began operating a plutonium-production reactor in 1963, possesses enough material for between 100 and 170 atomic weapons. Israel has never admitted this.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | marketing, MIDDLE EAST | Leave a comment

Putin to launch Turkey’s first nuclear power plant

Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan to launch Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, ABC News, 3 Apr 18 The leaders of Russia and Turkey are scheduled to launch the start of the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant as ties between the countries deepen.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin, on his first foreign visit since re-election on March 18, arrived in Ankara on Tuesday for talks with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The two will remotely launch the construction of the Russian-made Akkuyu nuclear plant on the Mediterranean coast.

The $20 billion ($26 billion) project is to be built by Russian state nuclear energy agency Rosatom……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-03/putin-and-erdogan-to-launch-turkey-first-nuclear-reactor/9614652

 

April 4, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Russia, Turkey | Leave a comment