The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

China praises US on nuclear issue, criticizes North Korea

China criticizes North Korea, praises US on nuclear issue, By Brad Lendon, CNN April 20, 2017  China may be getting fed up with continued nuclear bluster from long-time ally North Korea and tilting toward the United States. A day after North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister said Pyongyang would test missiles weekly and use nuclear weapons if threatened, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Beijing was “gravely concerned” about North Korea’s recent nuclear and missile activities.

April 21, 2017 Posted by | China, politics international | Leave a comment

Shenzhen nuclear plant declares war on shrimp

Hong Kong-based watchdog reports six minor incidents at Guangdong power suppliers last year, including accumulation of 3mm shrimps around water pipe at Ling Ao station, South China Morning Post, Ernest Wednesday, 19 April, 2017 Operators of a nuclear power plant in Shenzhen have surrounded water intake pipes with gill nets to prevent the accumulation of shrimp that caused a minor safety incident last year.

The Nuclear Safety Consultative Committee, a Hong Kong-based watchdog that monitors the plants in Daya Bay and Ling Ao, reported six “below scale”(Level 0) incidents at the power stations last year, three of which occurred in a single month……..

April 21, 2017 Posted by | China, incidents | Leave a comment

China warning North Korea against escalating tensions to an ‘irreversible’ stage

China warns North Korea tension has to be stopped from reaching ‘irreversible’ stage, SMH, 14 Apr 17,  Beijing/Pyongyang: China said on Friday tension over North Korea had to be stopped from reaching an “irreversible and unmanageable stage, SMH, ” as a US aircraft carrier group steamed towards the region amid fears the North may conduct a sixth nuclear weapons test on Saturday.Concern has grown since the US Navy fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield last week in response to a deadly gas attack, raising questions about US President Donald Trump’s plans for North Korea, which has conducted missile and nuclear tests in defiance of UN and unilateral sanctions.

The United States has warned that a policy of “strategic patience” is over. US Vice President Mike Pence travels to South Korea on Sunday on a long-planned 10-day trip to Asia.

China, North Korea’s sole major ally and neighbour which nevertheless opposes its weapons programme, has called for talks leading to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

“We call on all parties to refrain from provoking and threatening each other, whether in words or actions, and not let the situation get to an irreversible and unmanageable stage,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters in Beijing.

“Once a war really happens, the result will be nothing but losing all round and no one could become a winner,” Mr Wang told reporters in Beijing on Friday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

North Korea denounced the United States for bringing “huge nuclear strategic assets” to the region as the Carl Vinson strike group with a flag-ship nuclear-powered aircraft carrier steamed closer, and said it stood ready to strike back.

“The Trump administration, which made a surprise guided cruise-missile strike on Syria on April 6, has entered the path of open threat and blackmail,” the North’s KCNA news agency quoted the military as saying in a statement………

North Korea, still technically at war with the South after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty, has on occasion conducted missile or nuclear tests to coincide with big political events and often threatens the United States, South Korea and Japan.

On Saturday, it marks the “Day of the Sun”, the 105th anniversary of the birth of state founder Kim Il Sung.

US ally South Korea warned against any North Korean “provocation”, such as a nuclear or missile test.

“There is certain to be powerful punitive measure that will be difficult for the North Korean regime to endure,” the South’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement………

Worry about North Korean aggression has also led to a deterioration of ties between China and South Korea because China objects to the deployment of a US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in the South.

“It’s not hard to see that ever since the United States and Republic of Korea decided to deploy THAAD, the situation has not become harmonious but has become more tense,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, said in response to a question about the system………

April 15, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

USA asks China “to take additional steps” to rein in the Kim Jong-Un regime.

As N. Korea threatens nuclear attacks, U.S. calls on China ‘to take additional steps’ By  on April 11, 2017 by WorldTribune Staff, April 11, 2017

As North Korea warned it has its “nuclear sight focused” on the United States, the Trump administration said it has called on China “to take additional steps” to rein in the Kim Jong-Un regime.

President Donald Trump tweeted on April 11: “I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in an interview with ABC News on April 10, said: “I think we need to allow them (China) time to take actions and we will continue to be in very close discussions with them,” adding that the conversations between the two countries have been “very candid.”

North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the country was prepared to respond to any aggression by the United States.

“Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theatre but also in the U.S. mainland,” it said.

Pyongyang issued the warning as a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike group sailed towards the western Pacific……

April 12, 2017 Posted by | China, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

A warning to North Korea, from China, against conducting further nuclear weapons tests

Chinese tabloid warns N.Korea against test APRIL 12, 2017 North Korea should halt any plans for nuclear and missile activities “for its own security”, a Chinese newspaper says, warning that the US is making clear it doesn’t plan to “co-exist” with a nuclear-armed Pyongyang.

April 12, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Trump and Xi did not discuss climate change: no need, China has taken over leadership in this

China’s Xi Outshines Trump as the World’s Future Energy Leader, Failure by the two presidents to discuss climate change leaves China ahead, based on actions if not words, Scientific American By David Biello on April 11, 2017  “……Trump and China’s Pres. Xi Jinping apparently ignored climate change at their inaugural meeting last week. Although the two leaders apparently found time to discuss everything from North Korea’s nuclear capability to a potential reset of trade relations, climate change was never mentioned, even though Trump might have wanted to take the opportunity to directly fact check his Tweet from last year that China invented climate change to cripple U.S. manufacturing.

The silence was not a surprise, however, even if the focus of the summit was meant to be “global challenges around the world.” As Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. State Department, predicted, “I don’t think that [climate change is] going to be a major part of the discussion in Florida.”

That’s too bad, because China and the U.S. remain the two biggest polluters when it comes to greenhouse gases. Cooperation on climate change provided a rare area of agreement between China and the U.S. during the Obama administration. And it was in large part due to the efforts of China and the U.S. that the nations of the world agreed to combat climate change in Paris in 2015.

It is also too bad for the U.S.—because, ironically, the silence leaves China as the world’s future energy leader. As many see the Trump regime abandoning U.S. leadership in the fight to restrain global warming, China seems willing to step up, at least in rhetoric. “What should concern us is refusing to face up to problems and not knowing what to do about them,” Xi said in a speech to the World Economic Forum in January. “The Paris Agreement is a hard-won achievement which is in keeping with the underlying trend of global development. All signatories should stick to it instead of walking away from it, as this is a responsibility we must assume for future generations.”

At the same time, the Chinese have taken the lead in producing clean energy—from topping the world in the production and installation of solar power to building an entire new series of nuclear power plants, making use of the latest technology. Trump’s avoidance of the climate change problem could leave U.S. industry at a competitive disadvantage……..

Trump has already signed an executive order forcing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, which would have cut pollution from power plants. He is rolling back other federal efforts to combat climate change, such as reducing methane pollution from oil and gas pipelines as well as promoting a budget that could eliminate funding for clean energy research. All of which undercuts any serious effort to meet the U.S. commitment under the Paris agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Xi’s China, by contrast, plans to implement a national cap-and-trade system to reduce CO2 pollution this year. And there are already signs that decades-long growth in China’s coal burning has slowed or even stopped, potentially fulfilling the country’s Paris pledge to reach a peak in its pollution by 2030. This change of course is not just aimed at fending off climate change but also at reducing unhealthy air pollution that even government leaders in Beijing cannot avoid breathing…….

Nowhere remains safe from climate change. The U.S. is already feeling the effects, such as weird weather upsetting the plans of American farmers. Those effects will only get worse if nothing is done to stop dumping CO2 into the sky, much less to begin to reduce concentrations that have now reached more than 400 parts per million in the air—higher than that breathed by any members of our fellow Homo sapiens in the last 200,000 years. The global warming challenge is also intimately connected to the global challenges of feeding more than seven billion people, providing drinkable water as supplies dwindle and supplying electricity to billions of people who still do not have it. None of these challenges can be solved in isolation but rather require solutions like clean energy supergrids and microgrids that address energy poverty and reduce climate change pollution at the same time.

This also holds true even for the items that were on the U.S.–China agenda at Mar-a-Lago, such as the future of war-torn Syria after Trump ordered a cruise missile strike in response to that nation’s use of chemical weapons in its civil war. A shortage of water and food in Syria helped start the horrendous conflict there, forcing refugees to flee the war and the nation—in other words, a deadly fight and flight exacerbated by climate change. The conflict in Syria may serve as a warning from a future in which Trump continues to deny the facts about global warming.

April 12, 2017 Posted by | China, climate change, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

China makes strongest statement yet on climate action

This is China’s strongest statement yet on climate action, Climate Home, 30/03/2017,  
As President Trump rolls back climate policies and finance, China’s UN representative makes a detailed pitch for global leadership. 

In the week before Donald Trump began to roll back Obama-era climate regulations, China’s government made its clearest statement yet that it sees climate action as central to its best interests.

Speaking at a New York event on 23 March, China’s permanent representative at the UN Liu Jieyi said China remained committed to openness and collaboration on climate change, “whatever the vicissitudes of the international situation”.

Under Barack Obama, the US state department expended huge effort and political capital cajoling the Chinese into a bilateral deal that laid the foundations for the Paris accord on climate change.

One of the pillars of that deal was the Clean Power Plan – which mandated emissions reductions in the US energy sector. On Tuesday, Trump signed an order that began rolling back that policy declaring he was “putting an end to the war on coal”.

But Liu’s comments make clear that China now sees climate action as a matter of national interest, independent of US policy.1 That applies not only at home, but across a range of diplomatic forums.

Senior global policy advisor at Greenpeace East Asia Li Shuo said the speech “highlights the shifting political stance of China on climate change”……..

April 3, 2017 Posted by | China, climate change | Leave a comment

Need for America and China to work together on North Korean situation

North Korea: Why America and China need to deal with Kim Jong-un together   By North Asia correspondent Matthew Carney, Nearly every week, Kim Jong-un seems to announce a successful test in his nuclear and missile program, edging him ever closer to his aim of striking America with a nuclear warhead.

Taking the North Korean leader out with military action is now being discussed, but that could lead to much bigger problems and plunge the region into years of chaos and instability. Worse still, it could force a confrontation between China and the US.

On the face of it, the North Korean military looks impressive. It has about 1.2 million troops. But the reality is that the weaponry is outdated and obsolete, much of it from the Soviet era. It’s no match for any modern army, so Mr Kim could be removed effectively.

Christopher Hill, probably the most experienced US diplomat in North Korean affairs, says with Mr Kim in power, there is no chance of dialogue. “Frankly, we don’t have a real insight into his thinking — we do know he seems to be totally uninterested in negotiation,” he said.

The real danger, said Mr Hill, is that the Trump administration has little understanding about how to deal with the North Korea threat, and the US State Department is in disarray. “We have a kind of Home Alone situation at the State Department, so we don’t have a lot of people focusing on this issue at this point,” he said.

Military action could prove costly Despite this, while visiting North Asia last week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ruled out negotiation and put military action on the table. It’s action that could prove costly: a humanitarian disaster, with biological and nuclear weapons at play; a contested occupation as China and America battle for control.

Dr Euan Graham from the Lowy Institute says it could prove more destructive and costly than the Iraq war.

“Kicking in the door is the easy part; once you go in and occupy ground, then if that’s contested you can very quickly find even superpowers’ resources can become thinly spread,” he said.

Mr Hill says people like to compare the situation on the Korean Peninsula with the reunification of Germany, but this would actually be much worse. Frankly speaking, the difference between North Korea and East Germany cannot be described,” he said.

“They are just worlds apart in terms of what Germany had to do and what the South Koreans would have to do.”

These immense challenges make policymakers and experts around the world question the value of removing Mr Kim and his nuclear program.

Dr Graham says the US then has a choice: “Is it better to live with this threat and manage it through deterrence and existing sanctions like it did with China and the Soviet Union for decades? Or does it become so unacceptable that it has to accept the high cost of potential economic recession in north-east Asia and military conflict that could take several thousands if not higher numbers of lives?”

China and America are at oddsThe complicating factor is that the powers at play cannot agree on what North Korea should become. They all have competing strategic needs.

China wants a new regime that will serve its interests, and it fears US troops on its border.

Professor Cheng Xiaohe from Beijing Renmin University says China will have to deal with a flood of refugees.

“Millions of North Koreans will seek safe havens in China or across the 38th parallel into the minefields to seek protection in South Korea,” he said.

“Even hundreds of thousands will take to boats to sail boat to other countries to seek refuge.”

It’s doubtful whether America wants to lead another foreign intervention. The Iraq campaign almost bankrupted the country with little to show in return, and it left hundreds of thousands dead.

South Korea too is losing its desire for reunification. It would cost several trillion dollars at least and threaten South Korea’s thriving high tech economy which is 18 times bigger than North Korea’s.

Dr Jiyoung Song from the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs says the younger generation in the South have very little in common with their brethren in the North.

Most South Koreans are definitely worried about the economic side — the unification costs, but also the unemployment and competition for jobs and universities.

The only way forward…Mr Hill, who led the push for a negotiated solution with the six-party talks that ended in 2009 after North Korea withdrew and resumed its nuclear program, says the only way forward is to engage with China and plan how to deal with the regime and the aftermath.

“We have to have an in-depth dive deep with the Chinese to really figure out how together we can deal with that and I think we need to do it and do it a lot more,” he said.

But Mr Hill says both sides have to get over their mutual distrust.

“Many Chinese see the demise of North Korea as a Chinese defeat and a US victory,” he said.”They worry that the US might take advantage of this and put US troops right up on the Chinese border.”

Dr Cheng agrees that China is afraid of being played by the US.

“All countries need to work together to settle their differences and adopt a joint line to build that country for peace and stability and carry out post-reunification works,” he said.

But while experts may agree in a call for global engagement, the Trump administration seems to be turning inwards towards more isolationist policies.

March 27, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

China planning nuclear power for space projects

China plotting SPACE INVASION as groundbreaking nuclear programme announced, Daily Star UK , 10 Mar 17  CHINA is going to use nuclear power as part of the superpower’s ultimate goal of dominating space. The country is testing and developing nuclear technology that can be used as part of its galaxy exploration plan.

Wang Siren, the vice chairman the China Atomic Energy Authority, confirmed the news yesterday.

He said nuclear power is going to be the most viable source of energy for conducting space projects, such as those planned for Jupiter and Mars…..

The announcement comes amid increasing fears of a potential cosmic conflict as countries battle it out for space dominance…..

Last year, a US official warned that the use of intergalactic weapons could have devastating consequences for people on Earth…..

March 11, 2017 Posted by | China, technology | Leave a comment

Shaky friendship between China, North Korea: clash over nuclear and chemical weapons

flag-Chinaflag-N-KoreaFriendship on the rocks? China, North Korea clash over nuclear and chemical weapons
North Korea’s reaction was so strong that some Chinese experts initially thought the commentary was fake
 By Saša Petricic, CBC News    Feb 28, 2017 “…..China’s patience may be wearing thin, as frustrations double up over North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and apparent willingness to use chemical weapons.

South Korea has accused North Korean leader Kim Jong-un of ordering the assassination of his half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, and Malaysia suspects several North Korean officials may have been involved in a plot that used the banned VX nerve agent.

It’s creating an unprecedented rift between the two neighbours and ideological soulmates. China’s support dates back to the 1950s and the Korean war.

Last week, Beijing imposed a ban on coal imports from North Korea that could deprive it of much needed foreign funds until the end of 2017. Pyongyang has replied with one of the nastiest insults one socialist state can throw at another, accusing China of “dancing to the tune of the U.S.”

“The hostile forces are shouting ‘bravo’ over this,” says a commentary published by North Korea’s state news agency, accusing its neighbour of “mean behaviour.”…….

Pyongyang has defied some of the toughest sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security council, meant to not only deprive North Korea of the parts and expertise it needs to develop a nuclear arsenal, but also to punish the country’s leadership by blocking travel and access to luxury goods.

Officially, China endorses the UN sanctions and condemns Kim Jong-un’s nuclear and missile sabre-rattling.

But it is walking a fine line, trying to avoid weakening the regime so badly that it collapses, causing unrest in North Korea and a possible flood of refugees into China.

Beijing has been accused of turning a blind eye to a network of North Korean shell companies and middlemen who operate just over the land border in China, working to circumvent sanctions……..

while Pyongyang’s ongoing nuclear and missile program worries China, it’s the apparent assassination of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam that has sharpened the divisions between it and North Korea…….

Stockpile of deadly toxins

China is reportedly upset because Jong-nam was under its implicit protection, living in the country’s gambling enclave of Macau for years.

It was also rattled by North Korea’s apparent ready use of such a potent and prohibited chemical weapon beyond its borders. Pyongyang is known to have a large stockpile of various deadly toxins, and it hasn’t signed on to international conventions agreeing not to engage in chemical warfare…….

March 1, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Opposition to nuclear power grows, in China

As the plans circulated online, opposition to the plan appeared to be mounting in the wake of Chinese public reaction to rising radiation levels at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

“Last year, 100,000 people took to the streets of Lianyungang in protest against a nuclear power plant there, and they successfully blocked [its] construction”

The growing concerns over China’s nuclear power program came as the Hong Kong-listed arm of a state-owned nuclear power company announced further delays to controversial reactors at Taishan in the southern province of Guangdong. 

Protest-No!flag-ChinaPlans to Build Four New Nuclear Power Plants in China’s Henan Spark Outcry, Radio Free Asia, 21  Feb 17  Reported by Ding Wenqi for RFA’s Mandarin Service, and by Goh Fung for the Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie. Plans by authorities in the central province of Henan to move ahead with four new nuclear power stations in the wake of the Fukushima disaster have sparked growing public fears in China.

In a directive dated Jan. 25, the provincial government was ordered to move ahead with the implementation of power generation plans that include new nuclear reactors at Nanyang, Xinyang, Luoyang and Pingdingshan, according to a statement on its official website.

“[We must make] steady progress with preliminary work for nuclear power projects,” the statements said. “We must complete onsite protection work for nuclear power projects at Nanyang, Xinyang and the other nuclear power projects,” it said. “We should proceed with the planning and construction of inland nuclear power projects on behalf of our country, and strive to continue to be included in the national nuclear long-term development plan,” the directive said.

It called on government departments to “strengthen public awareness of nuclear power projects, nuclear power project planning and construction to create a good atmosphere.”

As the plans circulated online, opposition to the plan appeared to be mounting in the wake of Chinese public reaction to rising radiation levels at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

“An old issue in Japan has sent ripples across the East China Sea to shake China,” the Global Times newspaper, the sister paper of ruling Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece The People’s Daily, reported.

“The news has been traveling fast on the Chinese internet … Many Chinese became worried, some even canceling their trips to Japan,” the paper said.

A resident surnamed Li of Henan’s Anyang city told RFA that the news is causing great concern among local people.

“I am extremely worried about this; they definitely shouldn’t go ahead with building them,” Li said. “I heard the pollution from nuclear plants is very serious.”

“I expect there to be a public outcry in Anyang and in Henan about the plans to build nuclear power stations.”

Chernobyl fears

While one resident of Luoyang said they hadn’t heard of the plans, another Henan resident Yang Chunxia, hit out at the plans online.

“Last year, 100,000 people took to the streets of Lianyungang in protest against a nuclear power plant there, and they successfully blocked [its] construction,” Yang wrote.

“The whole of Eastern Europe was polluted by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1983,” the user added. “Now, they’ve got their eye on Henan. What will Henan people do about it? Please, everyone who lives in Henan, please pass this on!”

Meanwhile, authorities in Anyang detained local resident Wang Shoufeng for five days’ administrative detention for “making things up to disrupt public order” after he posted on social media in a similar vein.

Wang told RFA on Tuesday that he was innocent.

“I don’t believe that I did anything to disrupt public order,” he said. “A lot of people here in Henan want the government to go public with the information on this, and clarify whether they are planning to go ahead with it.”

“We want to understand everything about this and to catch the attention of as many people as possible.”

Wang’s friend Feng Lei said local people have a right to know about the dangers of nuclear power.

“They had that huge nuclear leak in Japan, and people here in Henan want a safe environment for their children and grandchildren to live in,” Feng said.

“They will be pushing for that.”

Repeated calls to the Henan provincial government offices rang unanswered during office hours on Tuesday.

The growing concerns over China’s nuclear power program came as the Hong Kong-listed arm of a state-owned nuclear power company announced further delays to controversial reactors at Taishan in the southern province of Guangdong.   ….

February 22, 2017 Posted by | China, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

China stalls in its push for nuclear power

flag-ChinaChina Nuclear Push Stalled by Next-Generation Reactors, Bloomberg, by Stephen Stapczynski and Aibing Guo, February 21, 2017, 

  • Aims to approve eight new nuclear reactor projects this year
  • CGN’s Taishan units see further delay in commercial operations

China’s decision to approve its first new nuclear reactors in two years may need to wait for its success starting up the world’s first next-generation units.

Plans to green-light eight reactors this year in the world’s fastest-growing nuclear market, announced last week, could depend on whether it’s able to complete some of the world’s most-advanced facilities, including Westinghouse Electric Co.’s AP1000 and Areva SA’s EPR. The first such reactors may come online as early as the first half, followed by new approvals, according to Karl Liu, an analyst at BOC International Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong.

“There are indications that Chinese policy makers want to wait for the AP1000s and EPRs under construction to come online and see how they do operationally before approving new projects,” said M.V. Ramana, a professor at the University of British Columbia. “I am not entirely sure that this plan will actually translate into reality.”

China is seeking to be the first country to bring online either an AP1000 or EPR, so-called generation III+ reactors, which have suffered costly delays in the U.S. and Europe. The world’s second-biggest economy, and largest energy consumer, is aiming to boost its nuclear power capacity and develop its own next-generation technology for export.

Construction delays for third-generation units are among reasons the Chinese government approved no new reactors last year, according to BOC’s Liu.

“The country wants to wait until the first AP1000 reactor successfully starts commercial operations before approving reactors using the same or similar technologies,” he said. …….

Originally designed to be cheaper and safer than earlier technology, growing complexity and new safety requirements of third-generation reactors are among cost issues that contributed to Westinghouse’s parent company Toshiba Corp. taking a multi-billion dollar writedown this year and Areva seeking a government bailout.


China’s power-generation overcapacity is another possible risk to new approvals, according to Ramana at the University of British Columbia. The country began showing signs of a glut as early as 2013, and hit a high in 2015, according to IHS Markit…….

February 22, 2017 Posted by | China, politics | Leave a comment

China’s culture, and the fear of speaking out on environmental concerns

Why Environmental Activists Are Afraid to Speak Out, , Feng YongfengFeb 21, 2017 In 2007, soon after I founded an organization called “Nature University,” I ran a program for those with an interest in conservation — both experts and amateurs alike. I took them walking along Beijing’s waterways every Saturday, and each time, we saw foul water pouring directly into the streams and rivers. “We are environmental activists,” some of our shocked volunteers said. “We shouldn’t just look on and do nothing.”

Nature University is a Beijing-based virtual community school for sharing information about environmental protection. We mainly target volunteers and nongovernmental organizations in our campaigns. Back in 2007, our big idea was to launch a photo event encouraging people to send in pictures of Beijing’s sewage outlets, which we would then forward on to the authorities to create a dialogue with them about water pollution.

Hardly anybody responded to our call for submissions. When the time for action arrived, I was left wondering where all the once-vocal critics had gone. In my opinion, they failed to overcome the deep-seated fear of speaking out — a fear passed down from generation to generation. People were afraid that if they reported severe pollution in the area, their families or friends might become targets for retribution by those responsible, such as factory bosses or owners.

Fear of playing a role in public affairs is rooted in many people’s upbringings. From a young age, Chinese parents constantly warn their children that only grave misfortune will come of stepping into the public domain and challenging the powers that be, citing examples from ancient history in which those who made enemies of such people were executed, their accomplices exiled, and their family and friends mistreated. This mindset leads many environmental activists to gag themselves. Activities like crowdfunding, agenda-sharing, photographing contamination sites, lodging official complaints, and speaking out on social media all suffer under this mentality.

Sometimes, activists treat all stakeholders in a pollution event — from coal mine owners to managers, from local officials to the most menial workers — as enemies to be held in the utmost contempt. As their fear turns to anger, they make themselves more foes than friends, and therefore find more problems than solutions. Everyone involved in the disaster becomes a symbol of the fear they feel, and thus everyone becomes an antagonist in the fight for real change. It is hardly surprising that many of the projects organized by environmental activists are stymied by infighting before they truly get off the ground.

Environmental activists are at war with pollution, but fear of the transgressors keeps us too daunted to act. Ingrained self-denial makes us reluctant to pursue meaningful endeavors and keeps us locked in constant equivocation. Therein lies China’s dilemma: Very few people are happy about pollution, but even fewer are willing to act decisively against it. The only way to publicly escalate the issue is to stay mentally strong and argue based on the facts we have. Blots on China’s environmental landscape cast shadows over a large portion of the population. It is in the public interest to fight pollution, but we are too worried about ramifications for individuals when we should be worried about the collective good.

We must exorcise our collective malaise if we are to save our environment. If you suspect that a factory is acting irresponsibly in limiting pollution, do something about it. Find out about what it produces, the technical details of its product, and the national laws requiring it to protect its surroundings. If you find inconsistencies in any of these areas, report them.

Make your voice heard through social media and crowdfunding. Be encouraged by small but meaningful signs of progress. Day by day, week by week, a concerted public effort can and will reshape the environment around us, provided we can muster a groundswell of support. With these tools, we can overcome fear. The only real thing we should fear is our own apathy and lack of ambition when it comes to social and environmental justice.

A workshop I attended at the prestigious Peking University last December convinced me of this. At the end of the event, a student asked, “What is the greatest challenge facing China’s environmentalist groups today?” I expected the answer to be something rather banal, like a shortage of funding, labor, or knowhow. Instead, the speaker — the secretary general of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, Zhou Jinfeng — gave a much more refreshing response: “Now is the best time for environmental groups to make their mark in China, because no other country in the world has more environmental disasters going unchecked. Environmental groups, activists, and volunteers will have an impact in China so long as they put their words into actions. So why are so many of you sitting around watching?”

Ingrained self-denial makes us reluctant to pursue meaningful endeavors and keeps us locked in constant equivocation. Therein lies China’s dilemma: Very few people are happy about pollution, but even fewer are willing to act decisively against it. The only way to publicly escalate the issue is to stay mentally strong and argue based on the facts we have. Blots on China’s environmental landscape cast shadows over a large portion of the population. It is in the public interest to fight pollution, but we are too worried about ramifications for individuals when we should be worried about the collective good.

Perpetrators of ecological disasters are far more vulnerable than most people think. From the moment when a pollution event occurs, those responsible for it live in fear of the judgment — both official and unofficial — against them. Yet to capitalize on this weakness in those who ravage the land, sea, and air, environmental crusaders must be brave. Even just a few soldiers fighting valiantly on the front lines can turn the tide of battle and inspire the public to put aside its fear of jumping into the fray.

February 22, 2017 Posted by | China, culture and arts | Leave a comment

Another delay in start of nuclear reactors in southern Chinese city of Taishan

China delays nuclear reactor start again  on February 22, 2017,  Paris (AFP) – Two nuclear reactors being built in the southern Chinese city of Taishan will come onstream months later than planned, said China General Nuclear Power (CGN), which runs the project together with France’s EDF.

“Taishan Nuclear recently organised a comprehensive evaluation on subsequent engineering construction plan and relevant risks, and after due consideration, it is decided to adjust the construction plan of Taishan project,” CGN said in a statement filed late Monday to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The reactors are of the so-called third-generation European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) type which has yet to go onstream anywhere in the world, and their start had been delayed once before, in 2016.

Britain in September gave the green light, with conditions, to EDF and CGN to build such a reactor an Hinkley Point, after a heated debate which included worries about China’s involvement.

Following EPR delays in Finland and in France, the two Chinese reactors are set to become the first of their type to go into service anywhere.

“The expected commercial operation of Taishan Unit 1 and Taishan Unit 2 are adjusted from the original first half of 2017 and the second half of 2017 to the second half of 2017 and the first half of 2018, respectively,” it said.

Construction of the Taishan plant started in 2009.

February 22, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, China | Leave a comment

“Forest cities” – a plan to save China from air pollution

‘Forest cities’: the radical plan to save China from air pollution, Guardian 18 Feb 17
Stefano Boeri, the architect famous for his plant-covered skyscrapers, has designs to create entire new green settlements in a nation plagued by dirty air 
When Stefano Boeri imagines the future of urban China he sees green, and lots of it. Office blocks, homes and hotels decked from top to toe in a verdant blaze of shrubbery and plant life; a breath of fresh air for metropolises that are choking on a toxic diet of fumes and dust.


Last week, the Italian architect, famed for his tree-clad Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) skyscraper complex in Milan, unveiled plans for a similar project in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing.

The Chinese equivalent – Boeri’s first in Asia – will be composed of two neighbouring towers coated with 23 species of tree and more than 2,500 cascading shrubs. The structures will reportedly house offices, a 247-room luxury hotel, a museum and even a green architecture school, and are currently under construction, set for completion next year.

But Boeri now has even bolder plans for China: to create entire “forest cities” in a country that has become synonymous with environmental degradation and smog.

“We have been asked to design an entire city where you don’t only have one tall building but you have 100 or 200 buildings of different sizes, all with trees and plants on the facades,” Boeri told the Guardian. “We are working very seriously on designing all the different buildings. I think they will start to build at the end of this year. By 2020 we could imagine having the first forest city in China.”

 Boeri described his “vertical forest” concept as the architectural equivalent of a skin graft, a targeted intervention designed to bring new life to a small corner of China’s polluted urban sprawl. His Milan-based practice claimed the buildings would suck 25 tons of carbon dioxide from Nanjing’s air each year and produce about 60 kg of oxygen every day.

“It is positive because the presence of such a large number of plants, trees and shrubs is contributing to the cleaning of the air, contributing to absorbing CO2 and producing oxygen,’ the architect said. “And what is so important is that this large presence of plants is an amazing contribution in terms of absorbing the dust produced by urban traffic.”

Boeri said, though, that it would take more than a pair of tree-covered skyscrapers to solve China’s notorious pollution crisis. “Two towers in a huge urban environment [such as Nanjing] is so, so small a contribution – but it is an example. We hope that this model of green architecture can be repeated and copied and replicated.”

If the Nanjing project is a skin graft, Boeri’s blueprints for “forest cities” are more like an organ transplant. The Milan-born architect said his idea was to create a series of sustainable mini-cities that could provide a green roadmap for the future of urban China.

The first such settlement will be located in Luizhou, a mid-sized Chinese city of about 1.5 million residents in the mountainous southern province of Guangxi. More improbably, a second project is being conceived around Shijiazhuang, an industrial hub in northern China that is consistently among the country’s 10 most polluted cities……..

February 20, 2017 Posted by | China, environment | Leave a comment