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China’s plan for global nuclear dominance depends on Britain

China’s long game to dominate nuclear power relies on the UK

Approval of Chinese nuclear technology in the UK would act as a springboard to the rest of the world, Guardian, Adam Vaughan and Lily Kuo in Beijing, 27 Jul 2018

China wants to become a global leader in nuclear power and the UK is crucial to realising its ambitions.

While other countries have scaled back on atomic energy in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, state-backed Chinese companies benefit from the fact that China is still relying on nuclear energy to reach the country’s low-carbon goals.

“China is going in the opposite direction. The massive experience possessed by the Chinese nuclear industry, consistently building for the past 30 years and adopting various next-generation technologies, is being recognised by the global nuclear industry,” said Zaf Coelho, the director of Asia Nuclear Business Platform, based in Singapore.

The UK, where as many as six new nuclear power stations could be built over the next two decades, is an obvious export target for Chinese nuclear. If state-owned China General Nuclear Power (GNP) – the main player in China’s nuclear industry – buys a 49% stake in the UK’s existing nuclear plants, as it was recently reported to be considering, that would mark a significant expansion of China’s role in the UK nuclear sector.

But the depth of CGN’s existing involvement in UK nuclear may surprise some.

The most high-profile project is the £20bn Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset, which is being built by EDF Energy with a French reactor design but was only made possible by CGN UK’s 33.5% stake to underwrite its daunting finances.

It was that Chinese ownership of a strategic piece of infrastructure that led Theresa May to temporarily halt the signing of the crucial subsidy deal for Hinkley when she became prime minister.

Isabel Hilton, the CEO of, said the UK opening up vital infrastructure to China was without parallel in the western world. “No other OECD country has done this. This is strategic infrastructure, and China is a partner but not an ally in the security sense.

“You are making a 50-year bet, not only that there will be no dispute between the UK and China, but also no dispute between China and one of the UK’s allies. It makes no strategic sense.”

The UK has appeared amenable to Chinese investment, though recently the UK cybersecurity watchdog warned British telecommunications companies against dealing with Chinese tech firm ZTE. One expert acknowledges that security concerns are a potential check to Chinese ambitions.

Zha Daojiong, a professor of non-traditional security studies at Peking University, said: “The question is not whether your nuclear technology is safe or not, it’s a question of politics. To be blunt, most countries think: ‘Anybody but China.’ This kind of thinking is becoming more and more popular among western countries. It’s a serious problem.”

CGN is also drawing up plans for Bradwell B in Essex, where China hopes to showcase its own nuclear reactor technology. CGN UK holds the majority stake (66.5%) in the development company, with EDF in a supporting role. Then there is a third joint venture to get Bradwell’s Chinese reactor design through the UK nuclear regulatory process.

Finally, there is Sizewell C in Suffolk, where EDF wants to build a clone of Hinkley Point C if it can attract enough private investment. CGN holds a 20% share.

While Germany and other western countries have turned their backs on nuclear, the UK is strongly committed to new nuclear to meet its carbon goals and this means, despite security concerns, the government needs Chinese involvement.

Robert Davies, the chief operating officer of CGN UK, said: “The UK is open to investment, and we want to invest in clean energy in this country.”

He is acutely aware of the need for future plants to be cheaper, given criticism over the cost of the EDF subsidy deal. “We understand the cost of electricity has to fall significantly from Hinkley Point,” he said.

But the company is open about the bigger prize – the UK as a springboard for exporting Chinese nuclear technology to other countries.

“For us, the UK is an important stepping stone into Europe. The GDA process [UK regulatory approval] is recognised in the nuclear world as having a lot of clout,” said Davies.

Asked if the UK should be concerned about China owning its nuclear power stations, he said: “We are not surprised and see nothing wrong with governments questioning our rationale for investing in their country.”

For now, the company’s UK footprint is small – just 70 of its 44,000 staff are based here. But his hope is the firm will become viewed “not as an outsider that has come in, but part of the furniture”.

China’s commitment was on show at a recent lavish nuclear industry event in London. No expense was spared on hosting the summit at the prestigious Guildhall building, where the Chinese ambassador to the UK told jokes and argued the case for new nuclear.

Mycle Schneider, a Paris-based nuclear industry analyst, said cost was not an issue for Beijing because the Chinese are playing a long game. “It was clear quite early on there was a strategy to make the UK a platform … A few billion here or there is not the point. It’s about strategic assets.”

But he said CGN still had a lot to learn about how the UK worked. “China does not have any building experience in any countries other than Pakistan, and that is not really comparable to the UK.”

Zhou Dali, a former Chinese energy official, as director of the energy research institute of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, said: “We are learning how to do business with patience. Because you cannot force others to do something. You can only help.

“We will give more and more information about the technology’s improvements, but the final decision will be made by the UK people and your politicians.”

Additional reporting by Wang Xueying


July 28, 2018 Posted by | China, marketing of nuclear, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Zombie nuclear corporation AREVA arises from dead – as “Orano” , “Framatome”


As Nuclear Giant AREVA Reforms, Framatome Is Resurrected | Sonal Patel   a POWER associate editor.

Reforging its core business to return to competitiveness after record losses of €4.83 billion in 2014, French nuclear firm AREVA has split its five operational business units and rebranded them—again. All its assets related to the design and manufacture of nuclear reactors and equipment, fuel design and supply, and services to existing reactors now fall under Framatome, which until January 4 was known as New NP. Operations related to the nuclear fuel cycle will be undertaken by Orano, which until January 23 was known as NewCo.

Creation of the AREVA group itself was an overhaul effort. The company was formed in 2001 with the merger of Framatome, Cogema, a nuclear business of German giant Siemens, and French propulsion and research reactor arm Technicatome. Framatome—short for Franco-Américaine de Constructions Atomiques—was created in 1958 by Schneider, Merlin Gerin, and Westinghouse Electric to exploit the emerging pressurized water reactor (PWR) market.

. By 1975, the company had become the sole manufacturer of nuclear power plants in France, equipping French state-owned utility EDF with 58 PWRs, and gradually taking on more projects overseas, building reactors like South Africa’s Koeberg, South Korea’s Ulchin, and China’s Daya Bay and Ling-Ao. In 1989, Framatome and Siemens created a joint company called Nuclear Power International to develop the EPR, a third-generation reactor that complied with both French and German nuclear regulations. The companies eventually merged in 2001, retiring the Framatome name and giving birth to AREVA.

One of the company’s most prominent contract wins came in 2003 from Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oy (TVO) for construction of the world’s first EPR, Olkiluoto 3, in southern Finland. In 2007, AREVA also signed a contract with EDF for an EPR in Flamanville, France, and separately with Taishan Nuclear Power Co., a joint venture 70% held by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corp. and 30% by EDF. Two years later, Siemens withdrew its capital in Areva NP—AREVA’s specialized nuclear steam supply system arm—citing a “lack of exercising entrepreneurial influence within the joint venture” as the reason behind the move, and transferred its 34% stake to the AREVA group.

But plagued by delays and cost overruns at Olkiluoto 3 (Figure 3) and Flamanville 3, as well as at a research reactor construction project, and financially hemorrhaging from renewable energy contracts, AREVA’s finances began to fall into disarray, reaching record losses in 2014. In 2015, EDF moved to snap up between 51% and 75% of the troubled nuclear giant’s reactor business, encouraged by the French government’s attempts to address a rivalry between the two majority state-owned companies.

In November 2016, AREVA and EDF signed a contract conferring to EDF exclusive control of a new entity—New NP—that oversaw AREVA’s reactor design and equipment manufacturing, fuel design and assemblies manufacturing, and reactor services. Closure of the sale was completed in December 2017, and EDF became the majority owner (holding 75.5% of shares) of New NP, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries took on 19.5%, and Paris-based international engineering firm Assystem held 5%.

Then in January 2018, the companies rebranded New NP, reviving the Framatome name in a move to harken to its celebrated legacy. Staffed by 14,000 employees worldwide, Framatome today has an “existing global fleet of some 440 reactors representing output of around 390 GWe in 31 countries, and with new nuclear capacity on its way, the nuclear market presents opportunities in the areas of components, fuel, retrofits and services,” the company noted in January.

The name’s luster has this year already been burnished by two significant developments for the company. On January 25, the French Nuclear Safety Authority (Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire [ASN]) gave Framatome and EDF the green light to resume manufacture of forgings for the French nuclear fleet at its 2006-purchased Le Creusot site (Figure 4), which was taken offline following the French regulator’s 2015 discovery of an anomaly in the composition in certain zones of the Flamanville EPR pressure vessel head and bottom head. In 2016, a quality audit identified “irregularities” in paperwork on nearly 400 plant components produced at the forge since 1965. Preventative measures ordered by ASN stemming from that debacle in December 2016 shut down more than half of France’s reactor fleet, sending contract prices across Europe soaring.

Also, on January 25, Framatome finalized and launched Enfission, a 50-50 joint venture with Lightbridge Corp., to commercialize the U.S. fuel technology developer’s metallic fuel. Lightbridge says that the “seed-and-blanket” design can safely operate at increased power density compared to standard uranium oxide fuel. For Framatome, which provides next-generation fuel assembly designs to more than 100 of about 260 light water reactors around the world, the partnership will strengthen its position in the global fuel market.

As part of restructuring efforts in June 2016, meanwhile, AREVA also created a separate company focused on the nuclear cycle, which it called, simply, “New Company” (NewCo). On January 23, that company was renamed “Orano.” The name is derived from Ouranos, a Greek god who personifies the heavens and was father of the Titans, and who in Roman mythology became “Uranus.” In 1789, German chemist and mineralogist Martin Heinrich Klaproth named his newly discovered rare metallic element “uranium” for the planet Uranus, which had also been recently found.

For Orano, the name is important because it “symbolizes a new start,” said CEO Philippe Knoche in January. “We have big ambitions for Orano, namely for it to become the leader in the production and recycling of nuclear materials, waste management, and dismantling within the next ten years.” Knoche also said, however, that the company’s name is written in lower case because the prospect of rebuilding a profitable operation will be done “with humility.” For now, the company’s operations will bank on reprocessing and nuclear growth in Asia rather than investing in new mines, owing to low prices of uranium, which have slipped 80% over the last decade as the nuclear sector sees a general slowdown.


March 2, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, France, marketing of nuclear, politics, technology | Leave a comment

France’s Electricite de France (EDF) boasts new cheaper nuclear reactor – makes Hinkley C nuclear project look unwise.

Times 17th Feb 2018, EDF has claimed that a new nuclear reactor it is developing will be a
better and cheaper version of the two it is building in Britain. The
state-owned French energy group said that its “optimised” version of the
European Pressurised Reactor being installed at Hinkley Point in Somerset
would be unveiled in 2020 and was destined initially for the French market.

A spokeswoman said that the optimised reactor would be between 25 per cent
and 30 per cent cheaper than the existing version. It is scheduled to be
available for use from 2030. The newspaper Le Monde reported that the new
reactor could cost as little as 6 billion euros or £5.3 billion.

The cost of the two reactors due to come on stream at Hinkley Point in 2025 is
£19.6 billion. Any improvements in EDF’s reactors would raise more
questions about the sustainability of the Hinkley Point C project and
another power station at Sizewell, Suffolk.

However, British experts derided the announcement of an optimised and cheaper reactor as a sign of
the French company’s desperation. Paul Dorfman, founder of the Nuclear
Consulting Group, said EDF’s claim that costs could come down “goes against
all technological logic”. He dismissed the claim as a public relations
exercise to avert a plunge in EDF’s credit rating and as an attempt to woo
President Macron, who is strongly in favour of nuclear power.

February 17, 2018 Posted by | France, marketing of nuclear, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear power in the Middle East – for nuclear weapons?

Perhaps nuclear power plants have become the new status symbols for developing nations, the modern equivalent of new steel mills so prized by developing nations after World War II. Or perhaps something more sinister is afoot.

“Why do you have a nuclear reactor in the Persian Gulf? Because you want to have some kind of nuclear (weapons) contingency capability.”

Nuclear Power’s Resurgence In The Middle East, Oil, 

To begin the process the Saudis will soon solicit bids for two reactors. We expect bids for these initial projects from at least five national consortia: South Korean, French, Russian, Chinese and American (Westinghouse).

In order for American firms to submit bids or these projects, the U.S. would have to amend its policy that prohibits export of technology for enrichment and reprocessing of uranium.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Hasham Yamani, head of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, stated at a recent conference that his nation intended to become entirely self-sufficient with respect to the production and enrichment of uranium. ..

In the United Arab Emirates, the first of four units at the Barakah nuclear power station is slated to soon enter commercial operation. These 4 APR 1400 units are being constructed by South Korea’s KEPCO at an estimated cost of $30 billion. But unlike the Saudis, officials in the UAE expressed no interest in uranium mining and reprocessing, services the plant’s builder is typically only too happy to provide.

Another four reactor project was announced in Egypt. The El Dabaa Nuclear Power Project will host four Russian-designed VVER 1200 reactors. This project is also projected to cost $30 billion and is 85 percent financed by the vendor, Rosatom.

The Iranians also have a Russian-design 1 GW nuclear reactor at its Bushehr power station. Interestingly, this unit began its life as a Siemens-designed unit whose construction was terminated due to the 1979 revolution in Iran. Eventually Russians engineers took over and completed the plant…..

Iran and the U.S. have recently differed over Iran’s uranium enrichment and reprocessing efforts particularly at the Natanz facility. The U.S. appears eager to find the Iranians in violation of nuclear fuel reprocessing constraints signed under the Obama administration. Whether this will become a pretext for further escalation by the Trump administration remains to be seen…..

This present enthusiasm for nuclear power, though, does raise questions. These plants may not be competitive with alternative power sources unless the builders finance and subsidize them. This seems to be the strategy pursued by both China and Russia.

It is also unlikely, given the relatively long lead times for construction, to resolve existing electricity shortages that hamper economic growth. Perhaps nuclear power plants have become the new status symbols for developing nations, the modern equivalent of new steel mills so prized by developing nations after World War II. Or perhaps something more sinister is afoot.

Let us give the last word to highly respected Middle East energy and security analyst, Anthony Cordesman, currently of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies: “There’s no question. Why do you have a nuclear reactor in the Persian Gulf? Because you want to have some kind of nuclear (weapons) contingency capability.” He sounds skeptical that it’s all about atoms for peace.

You can find Leonard Hyman’s lastest book ‘Electricity Acts’ on Amazon

By Leonard Hyman and Bill Tilles


December 20, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, marketing of nuclear, MIDDLE EAST, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India going into debt to Russia, for expanded Kudankulam nuclear plant ?

Russia signs deal to expand India’s Kudankulam nuclear plant Russia signed an agreement with the Indian government on Thursday to build two new reactors for the Kudankulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu and said it would loan India $4.2 billion to help fund construction.

President Vladimir Putin says Russia is ready to build a dozen nuclear reactors in India over the next 20 years to back Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s growth strategy for Asia’s third-largest economy, which continues to suffer chronic power shortages.

The agreement to build reactors 5 and 6 at Kudankulam was signed in St Petersburg during a meeting between Putin and Modi at an economic forum. It should help cement already close ties between the two countries.

Atomstroyexport, a unit of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, will carry out the work, Kremlin documents seen by Reuters showed.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters the Russian government was lending India $4.2 billion from next year for a 10-year period to help cover construction costs.

Separately, in a joint declaration, the two countries said they noted the “wider use of natural gas” which they hailed as an economically efficient and environmentally friendly fuel that would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help them fulfil the terms of the Paris climate change accord. (Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin/Andrew Osborn; Editing by Alexander Winning)

June 2, 2017 Posted by | India, marketing of nuclear, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Perception that China is not to be trusted is hampering its nuclear marketing ambitions

Buy-China-nukes-1Going Out’ to Hinkley Point? China’s Uncertain Future in International Energy China’s ambition to become a global energy power will have to overcome geopolitical hurdles, The Diplomat By Mykael Goodsell-SooTho August 18, 2016 “…….Recently, China has faced a number of setbacks which demonstrate several countries’ apprehension at the prospect of Chinese involvement in their energy infrastructure. Last week, the Australian government threw a wrench into the plans of China’s State Grid Corporation and Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings by preliminarily barring their bids for a controlling stake in Ausgrid, the country’s largest electricity network. This came just weeks after a similar decision by the U.K. government to postpone approval of the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor project pending a comprehensive review of the plans. In both instances, officials have cited security concerns surrounding Chinese involvement in British and Australian energy infrastructure as primary reasons for the countries’ hesitance to conclude the deals. Whether or not these worries are well-founded, they constitute a significant obstacle to Chinese energy companies’ international ambitions.

While some critics of the Hinkley project—including Nick Timothy, Prime Minister Theresa May’s joint chief of staff—have argued that CGN’s involvement could allow the Chinese to shut down the U.K. power grid at will, others believe that the risks of Chinese participation in Hinkley could be less nefarious, but equally consequential. Such critics argue that, even in the absence of the James Bond-esque tactics touted by Timothy, dependence on China for the financial and technological resources necessary to run the U.K.’s nuclear power program would give China a great deal of control over a vital component of the country’s future. Moreover, quality concerns surrounding “Made in China” products certainly extend to nuclear reactors, and the fact remains that China has not yet established itself as a trustworthy exporter of nuclear-related goods and services. In light of these facts, the May administration has taken a much more cautious approach to the Hinkley project than its predecessor…….
The Chinese ambassador’s call to action highlights the importance of the project in the eyes of the Chinese. It suggests that China’s stake in Hinkley Point and other international energy projects extends beyond the associated financial costs and benefits. If approved, Hinkley Point will be the largest and most expensive nuclear construction venture in the world, and having CGN’s name attached the project would be a major step in establishing China’s credibility in international energy development……..China will face difficulty in further developing its presence in the energy markets outside its borders as long as its motivations for doing so continue to be perceived as dubious.

August 19, 2016 Posted by | China, marketing of nuclear, politics international | Leave a comment

Chines military nuclear firm invited to bid for building Small Nuclear Reactors in Britain

fearflag-Chinaflag-UKChinese firm with military ties invited to bid for role in UK’s nuclear future,  
China National Nuclear Corporation on government list of preferred bidders for development funding for next-generation modular reactors,
Guardian, , 8 Aug 16, A controversial Chinese company has been selected to bid for millions of pounds of public money in a UK government competition to develop mini nuclear power stations.

The China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) features twice in a government list of 33 projects and companies deemed eligible to compete for a share in up to £250m to develop so-called small modular reactors (SMR).

The involvement of a different Chinese company in the high-profile Hinkley Point C project in Somerset was widely believed to have prompted the government’s decision to pause the deal at the 11th hour last month.

Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s co-chief of staff, has previously expressed alarm at the prospect of CNNC having such close access to the UK’s energy infrastructure because it would give the state-owned firm the potential ability to build weaknesses into computer systems.

The company was formerly China’s Ministry of Nuclear Industry and developed the country’s atomic bomb and nuclear submarines, as well as being a key player in its nuclear power industry.

In an article on the ConservativeHome website, Timothy singled out CNNC’s military links as a reason the UK government should be wary of such involvement.

“For those who believe that such an eventuality [shutting down UK energy at will] is unlikely, the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation – one of the state-owned companies involved in the plans for the British nuclear plants – says on its website that it is responsible not just for ‘increasing the value of state assets and developing the society’ but the ‘building of national defence’,” he wrote.

Tom Burke, chairman of the environment thinktank E3G and a former British government adviser, said there were legitimate concerns over the company. “I don’t fuss very much about the Chinese owning a nuclear power station [China General Nuclear in the case of Hinkley]. But I would be much more concerned about bringing in CNNC because they are known to be much more closely involved with the military and Chinese nuclear weapons programmes,” he said.

CNNC was not involved in the original Hinkley deal but it was reported on Sunday that the company has agreed in principle to buy half of China’s 33% stake in the £24bn project if it goes ahead……..




August 8, 2016 Posted by | China, marketing of nuclear, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Russia marketing Nuclear Aircraft Carrier to India

Russian-Bearflag-indiaRussia Offers India Nuclear Aircraft Carrier , Defense July 11, 2016 NEW DELHI — Russia has offered its nuclear aircraft carrier, dubbed “Storm,” to India for purchase, a senior Indian Navy official said. The offer comes as India and the US discuss the transfer of technology for India’s future nuclear aircraft carrier, the INS Vishal.

A diplomat with the Russian Embassy confirmed that a Russian team visiting India last week made the offer.

Krylov State Research Center (KSRC), a Russian shipbuilding research and development institute, is designing the carrier, also known as Shtorm or Project 23000E…….

July 22, 2016 Posted by | marketing of nuclear, Russia | Leave a comment

Russians call US nuclear reactors a “white elephant” for India

Russian-BearUS Nuclear Reactors to Prove White Elephant for India. Sputnik News 13 June 16 Toshiba Westinghouse India’s latest move in the direction of implementing a nuclear energy pact with the US is gaining strong resentment as the US reactors are most likely to cost three times more than that of Russian reactors already well operational.

The Indian government’s commitment to expedite the formalities of a deal allowing America’s Westinghouse Electric to set up six nuclear reactors in India is drawing flak for being commercially nonviable. The proposition was part of the talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama during the former’s latest visit to the US.Many are questioning the rationale behind such a commitment as installing nuclear reactors manufactured by Westinghouse would overshoot the cost of Russian reactors already in operation at Kudankulam of Tamil Nadu…….

June 13, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, India, marketing of nuclear, politics international | Leave a comment

Global nuclear salesmen still not happy with India’s Nuclear Liability Law

fighters-marketing-1Concern Over India’s Nuclear Liability Law Still Remains: French Firm EDF

All India | Press Trust of India April 24, 2016  NEW DELHI:  A month after India and France signed an agreement to take forward a deal to supply six nuclear reactors for Jaitapur plant, French firm EDF has said concern over India’s liability law still remains and that it will give a fresh pricing proposal for these units.

The fresh techno-commercial proposal will also take into account India’s concern over high per unit tariff, French government officials said.

 “EDF has raised concerns about the Right to Recourse pertaining to Clause 17 (a), (b) and (c) and Clause 46 of the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act 2010,” the official said.

“The French feel that there is a lot of ambiguity in Clause 46 and there is fear in the minds of suppliers. We have raised this issue both with NPCIL and the Department of Atomic Energy,” said a French official.

Clause 46 of the CLND Act says, “The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, any other law for the time being in force, and nothing contained herein shall exempt the operator from any proceedings which might, apart from this Act, be instituted against such operator.”

Last month, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) had signed an agreement for building six European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) as against the earlier proposal of two such reactors.

The delay in the project, which was first signed in 2008, and concern over India’s liability law came in the wake of nuclear firms Areva and EDF merging their reactor businesses into a joint venture controlled by EDF, as part of a broad restructuring last year.

In 2014, the US too had raised similar concerns about Clause 46 in particular.

Following this, just before President Barack Obama’s visit to the country, India announced plans to build a Nuclear Insurance Pool to address the issue.

In April last year, Areva had also signed an agreement with NPCIL to expedite the programme.

“Things are unclear over how much insurance cover does supplier have to take. There is still a lot of ambiguity in this,” the French official said.

The French government officials said the liability issue is still “manageable” but pricing still remains a major hurdle.

While the cost of the electricity generated by Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) Units I and II hovers between Rs. 3 to 3.50 per unit, for JNPP, it is expected to be Rs. 9.14 per unit. India is not ready to go beyond Rs. 6.50 per unit.

April 25, 2016 Posted by | India, Legal, marketing of nuclear, Reference | Leave a comment

Russia keenly promoting ?unaffordable nuclear power to Hungary, South Africa

Russian-Bearflag-S.AfricaRUSSIA COULD SCORE BIG IN SA, HUNGARY’S NUCLEAR EXPANSION PLANS, EyeWitness News, 22 Apr 16  Lobbyists are challenging the legality of SA’s proposed 9,600 megawatt nuclear build programme. Rahima Essop  BUDAPEST – Russia could benefit in both South Africa and Hungary’s nuclear expansion plans, but there are procurement and legal hurdles.

Environmental lobbyists are challenging the legality of South Africa’s proposed 9,600 megawatt nuclear build programme before government opens the tender process.

At the same time, the European Commission is probing whether Hungary’s decision to award a contract to Russia to build two new nuclear reactors was in line with its procurement regulations.

Eighty percent of the financing for the Hungarian project would be covered by a loan from Russia, to be paid off over 21 years at a stepped interest rate…….

In South Africa, opposition politicians are concerned government’s nuclear build programme is not affordable and will plunge the country deeper into debt.

Russian atomic energy company, Rosatom has said it’s open to help finance the project, if it’s selected as the preferred bidder.

However, it’s unclear when Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson will call for quotes for the tender.

Rosatom has sponsored a press trip to Hungary to showcase its capacity to build power plants across the globe…….

April 23, 2016 Posted by | marketing of nuclear, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia will fund building of nuclear power, an attractive deal for South Africa?

Russian-BearRussia, China front runners in South Africa’s nuclear project-source 

 * Russia, a poltical favorite, ability to fund plants, a bonus* South Africa to build pressurised water reactors

* Other countries could be included in building plants

Reuters, By Peroshni Govender JOHANNESBURG, Feb 12 South Africa will finalise requirements for its 9,600 megawatt nuclear power plant by April, with Russia and China the front-runners to win the bid, a government official involved in the negotiations told Reuters.

Pretoria has earmarked billions of rand for much needed power generation but its nuclear build of 9,600 megawatts by 2030 at a price tag of up to 1 trillion rand ($63.46 billion) has raised concerns over whether it would be affordable.

Fears that what could be the most expensive procurement in the country’s history will be made behind closed doors, without the necessary public scrutiny have been raised by the opposition, claims the government has rejected.

“From what I have seen, the Russians do have a case and so do the Chinese. If we go with two countries, it could include the Chinese,” said the official, who did not want to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media. “If we go for one country, it would be the Russians.”

Political alliances, Pretoria and Moscow’s membership of the BRICS association of five emerging economies and Russia’s ability to fund the project have put them as the favourites, the official said.

Russia’s willingness to build the plant at its own expense, operate it for 20 years and charge South Africa for the power and running costs had given that country an even better chance to clinch the deal, the official said.

Officials at the nuclear unit in the energy department were not available to comment…..

February 13, 2016 Posted by | marketing of nuclear, politics international, South Africa | Leave a comment

Japan-India nuclear deal sounds good, but not likely in practice

Much-feted Indo-Japan nuclear deal isn’t all that it’s made out to be and will mean little when implemented, First Post by Jaideep Prabhu  Dec 13, 2015 News of an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation between India and Japan has been met with much fanfare in the Indian media. The announcement came on the second morning of Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s three-day trip to India to attend the ninth annual India-Japan Summit. Despite the celebratory tone in India, the fine print and context of what was agreed upon between the two nations is less than satisfactory and will mean little in practice.

The nuclear deal has been a sensitive subject between Delhi and Tokyo for the past five years. ………

Japan holds an important position in international nuclear commerce. Over the years, the island nation has developed expertise in manufacturing several critical reactor components of high quality and become a key node in the supply chains of at least three of the major nuclear vendors, namely the French firm Areva and the American firms General Electric and Westinghouse. Among the major players, only Russia’s Rosatom and China’s two major state-run nuclear vendors – China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) – are independent of Japanese components. As per Japan’s strict export controls stipulating end-user certification and other conditions, US and French nuclear firms would first need the permission of their Japanese suppliers before doing business with India. Tokyo’s consonance on nuclear cooperation with India thus achieved a greater import, not to mention the symbolic value India put on such an agreement as an indicator of its nuclear normalisation.

The declaration at the India-Japan Summit falls considerably short of a nuclear deal. The two sides merely signed a memorandum of understanding that has punted the legal and technical differences further down the road. In essence, this means that Japan has only agreed to the principle that it can conclude a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with India, that it will make an exception to its rule of not conducting nuclear commerce with a state that is not a signatory of the NPT. This is progress, no doubt, but what price Japan will extract for its concession in terms of technical requirements or how long the nuclear deal will take to operationalise is anyone’s guess……

Even if India and Japan had succeeded in signing a comprehensive civil nuclear cooperation agreement, the chances of it having much impact on India’s nuclear energy sector are slim. As part of its agreement with the United States, India agreed to bring into force a nuclear liability law like all other states with nuclear facilities. However, Delhi’s interpretation of liability, informed as it was by the Bhopal Gas Tragedy of 1984, was not in congruence with the international standard that limited damages and made the operator solely responsible for economic compensation.
Consequently, no vendor is willing to enter the Indian nuclear market. Chairman Jeff Immelt stated categorically that he was not willing to expose his company to the risks Indian liability law required of nuclear suppliers, and Areva has slowed down its work at Jaitapur pending further clarifications regarding liability despite signing a pre-engineering agreement for the site with Larsen & Toubro in April 2015. Similarly, Westinghouse has been remarkably silent on its interest in India since January 2015 when US president Barack Obama and Indian prime minister Narendra Modiachieved an expensive and convoluted workaround on supplier liability by establishing an insurance pool for nuclear vendors……..
Whatever the potential benefits of a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with Japan may be, India has not achieved them today.

December 14, 2015 Posted by | Japan, marketing of nuclear | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby predominates at Wisconsin public hearing

nuke-spruikersSmFlag-USANuclear power hearing dominated by speakers looking to lift restrictions 11/19/2015  By Chris Thompson Not one person during a nearly three-hour public hearing testified against a bill that would lift what amounts to Wisconsin’s moratorium on nuclear power plant construction.

Beyond bill author Rep. Kevin Petersen, those speaking in favor of AB 384 yesterday included Public Service Commission member and former DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch. The Assembly’s Energy and Utilities Committee also heard from multiple construction industry representatives and students wearing t-shirts that read “Environmentalist for nuclear energy.”

Amber Meyer Smith of Clean Wisconsin said her group supports current Wisconsin law. The costs of a nuclear plant and the threats to the environment from fuel waste, Meyer Smith said, are just too much for Clean Wisconsin to support.

Her organization, along with the Citizens Utility Board and a private citizen, registered against the bill but didn’t testify. The Sierra Club-John Muir Chapter is registered with the GAB in opposition to the legislation.

“We submitted testimony,” Meyer Smith said, “and just felt that was sufficient.”

The topic isn’t new in the Capitol. It arose as a possibility during former Gov. Jim Doyle’s administration through an energy task force. And committee member Rep. Josh Zepnick, of Milwaukee, said he is among the Dems who have tried to lift the moratorium.

Petersen, R-Waupaca, said the state in 1983 enacted regulations that essentially put a stop to nuclear plant construction. Petersen, Huebsch and others argued storage and fuel recycling technology have advanced to the point that the concerns of 1983 no longer apply.

Frank Jablonski, a lobbyist for the Nuclear Energy Institute, testified he would bet his own health on the safety of storage technology.

“If you want to put a dry cask in my backyard, you absolutely could,” he said. “Just build the plant in Wisconsin.”

November 20, 2015 Posted by | marketing of nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

China and UK joining in promoting new nuclear technology

flag-Chinaflag-UKChina, UK to fund nuclear research centre 25 September 2015

China and the UK will work together to co-fund a £50 million ($78 million) nuclear research centre, to be headquartered in the UK. Chinese vice premier Ma Kai and British chancellor George Osborne announced the plan on 21 September during the 7th UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue summit in Beijing.


The Chancellor also announced a regional collaboration agreement between Cumbria and Sichuan Province, deepening commercial ties between the province and the north west of England’s expertise in nuclear decommissioning and waste management. These developments followed a landmark announcement by Osborne the same day that the UK government would provide up to £2 billion ($3 billion) in support for the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, which China may participate in.

The UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) said on 22 September that it will jointly lead the new UK-China Joint Research and Innovation Centre (JRIC) with the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

The JRIC – which will incorporate projects in a number of different areas of work across the whole nuclear fuel cycle – will “act as a portal to allow UK companies and academic organizations and their Chinese counterparts to work together on areas of mutual benefit and will support the development of Subject Matter Experts and others with higher level skill in both countries,” NNL said.

Over the coming months NNL and CNNC will work together to establish a program of work for the JRIC and to develop links with other UK bodies including the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC), the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN), the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB) and key UK universities working in the nuclear sector.

text-SMRsProfessor Andrew Sherry, chief scientist at NNL, wrote in a blog on the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s website that there is a strong case for exploring the potential of next generation nuclear technologies. “There is scope for developing new reactor concepts including small and modular reactors, which can provide both electricity and potentially heat, and also for considering even more advanced reactors which can be powered with reprocessed spent fuel to make more efficient use of the uranium fuel, and generate less nuclear waste,” he said. “These advances will need targeted research across the UK, drawing together universities, national laboratories and industry and linking effectively with the international community.

September 26, 2015 Posted by | China, marketing of nuclear, politics international, UK | Leave a comment