The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

China wants its nuclear industry to grow dauntingly fast

 The Economist Sep 24th 2016 LIANYUNGANG   UPON learning (via a terse government statement) that their bustling port city in eastern China had been tipped as the likely site of a plant to recycle used nuclear fuel, residents of Lianyungang took to the streets last month in their thousands. Police, whose warnings against demonstrations were ignored, deployed with riot gear in large numbers but only scuffled with the protesters, who rallied, chanted and waved banners in the city centre for several days. “No one consulted us about this,” says one woman who participated in the protests. “We love our city. We have very little pollution and we don’t want a nuclear-fuel plant anywhere near us. The government says it is totally safe, but how can they be sure? How can we believe them?” she asks.Such scepticism is shared by many in Lianyungang, which already hosts a nuclear-power plant , and elsewhere in China, where the government plans to expand nuclear power massively.  ……

September 24, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, China, politics | Leave a comment

Canada’s SNC Lavalin marketing nuclear reactors to China

nuclear-marketing-crapSNC-Lavalin to build Candu nuclear reactor for China, BERTRAND MAROTTE, MONTREAL — The Globe and Mail, Sep. 22, 2016 SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is closing in on its goal of becoming a major player in China’s thriving nuclear-energy industry with an agreement for the development in that country of the next generation of Candu reactors.

The Montreal-based global engineering giant said on Thursday it has an agreement in principle for a joint venture with state-owned atomic-power and weapons company China National Nuclear Corp. and manufacturing conglomerate Shanghai Electric Group Co. Ltd. to design, market and build the Advanced Fuel Candu Reactor (AFCR).

SNC signed an initial memorandum of understanding with CNNC to pursue power generation, mining and nuclear-related environmental projects around the world more than two years ago.

 The joint venture to be created – the new company is expected to be registered in China by mid-2017 – is the first between a foreign company and the Chinese nuclear giant involving the development of new technology…….

SNC bought the Candu unit from Ottawa for $15-million in 2011. But Candu has had a poor track record of selling its technology abroad and questions have also been raised over its cost-effectiveness.

China, however, appears to have endorsed the concept of building reactors that run on recycled uranium…….

The proposed joint venture follows the signing of a framework agreement in 2014 and is subject to government and regulatory approvals, SNC said.

September 23, 2016 Posted by | Canada, China, marketing | Leave a comment

Further nuclear power development in China will need local public consent

flag-ChinaChina nuclear developers must seek public consent: draft rules, (Reporting by David Stanway; editing by Jason Neely), 20 Sept 16  China’s nuclear developers must seek the consent of local stakeholders before going ahead with new projects, according to draft rules published by the country’s cabinet on Monday.

Developers will need to assess the impact a nuclear project will have on social stability and solicit public opinion through hearings or announcements, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council said.

China is in the middle of a rapid nuclear reactor building program and aims to have 58 gigawatts (GW) of capacity in full commercial operation by the end of 2020, up from 30.7 GW at the end of July.

But despite a strong safety record at existing plants, the government has struggled to convince the public about the safety of nuclear power.

Protests in the eastern coastal city of Lianyungang last month led to the cancellation of a proposed $15 billion nuclear waste processing plant.

“Japan’s Fukushima accident once again created doubt about the safety of nuclear power among the public, and also caused feelings of fear and opposition to occur from time to time,” the Legislative Affairs Office said in a statement.

It said the new draft rules would improve information disclosure and allow the public to participate more actively in the construction and supervision of nuclear projects.

The Legislative Affairs Office has made the draft guidelines available to the public and will accept suggestions until Oct. 19, it said in a notice posted on its website (

A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency said this month that China’s “unparalleled” nuclear expansion would pose challenges for its regulators, and more work needed to be done in areas such as waste management and the handling of ageing reactors.

September 22, 2016 Posted by | China, politics | Leave a comment

China’s nuclear marketing plan gets a big boost from Theresa May’s decision to go ahead on Hinkley project

Buy-China-nukes-1British Project May Clear Way for China’s Nuclear Exports to the West VOA, Saibal Dasgupta, 20 Sept 16  BEIJING — 

There’s a whole lot more in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to allow a Chinese company to invest in the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant than mere business.

Chinese investment is limited to investing funds in the $24 billion project, which will use two French reactors supplied by Electricity de France. But the project could clear the way for Chinese involvement in a more crucial project at Bradwell, east England, which would allow China to export its nuclear technology to the Western world, analysts say.

China General Nuclear Corporation, the investor in Hinkley Point, already has signed a pre-feasibility agreement for the Bradwell project……..

Only a few developing countries like Pakistan are using Chinese reactors. These countries are not known to have the kind of strict regulatory control seen in the West.

The Bradwell B project could be a game changer. Getting regulatory approval in Britain for its reactors is crucial for China because it can open the doors for Chinese nuclear exports to the West……..

But there’s many a slip between May’s lip and China’s cup of hope. Britain already is in the midst of fierce debate with critics voicing concern about security issues. Critics question a provision in the contract that provides for a fixed electricity rate for 35 years at a time when energy prices are falling, and are expected to be much lower in the future……..

For Beijing, British approval for the Hinkley Point project is a major image booster, analysts say. Chinese business is seen in the West as an acquirer of property and trader of low-tech, unbranded goods, they point out…….

September 21, 2016 Posted by | China, marketing, UK | Leave a comment

At least 4 years before UK’s Bradwell nuclear plan could be approved

China must wait four years for decision on Bradwell nuclear plant
Buy-China-nukes-1After Hinkley Point C go-ahead, Essex reactor would be even more significant for China – and more controversial for UK,
Guardian,  and , 17 Sept 16  China faces at least a four-year wait to find out whether its plans to build a nuclear power station in Essex will be approved.

If it got the go-ahead, Britain would be relying heavily on Chinese investment for its future energy supply after the government approved the construction of an £18bn nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset, which will be 33% owned by China General Nuclear (CGN).

Theresa May pushed through the Hinkley Point C project despiteopposition from MPs and the public over its cost and the involvement of China. However, the project in Bradwell, Essex, is even more controversial because it would be majority owned and designed by China………

Under the deal, CGN agreed to invest £6bn inHinkley Point C in return for leading its own power plant project at Bradwell.

The Bradwell plant is considered vital by the state-owned company because it would be the first Chinese nuclear reactor to be built in a developed country and an opportunity to promote China’s technological expertise.

CGN plans formally to submit its plan for a nuclear reactor at Bradwell within weeks. However, it would take at least four years for the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to assess the proposals and possibly approve them. This means that despite the government having approved Hinkley Point C, the shape of Britain’s future energy supply will remain unresolved for some time……..

The process for the Chinese company would be the same as for other new reactors and would take around four years, as long as the group met the timetable for submissions and provided sufficient detail…….

CGN would own two-thirds of the Bradwell B project, with the French energy company EDF owning the rest. This is the reverse of Hinkley Point C, which is two-thirds owned by EDF and of a French design…….

Johnny Hon, a Sino-British entrepreneur and vice-president of the 48 Group Club, which promotes trade links between the countries, said: “Although the news is most welcome from China’s perspective, their most anticipated deal is the third potential reactor in Bradwell in Essex – whose details are yet to be confirmed.

“This reactor would be the first in a developed country to use Chinese technology and [would] be a breakthrough in establishing China as a global leader in nuclear power.”…….

General Electric, the US industrial giant, has confirmed it is in line to receive $1.9bn (£1.5bn) by building steam turbines and generators for the power plant.

September 17, 2016 Posted by | China, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Hinkley nuclear deal to be followed by an Essex nuclear deal with China?

Buy-China-nukes-1China to build nuclear reactor in Essex after Hinkley deal approved, Telegraph UK,   Emily Gosden, energy editor 15 SEPTEMBER 2016 
China is to begin developing a new nuclear power station in Essex after the Government heralded a new wave of UK reactors by approving the £18bn Hinkley Point plant in Somerset.

Chinese state nuclear firm CGN will fund one-third of Hinkley, which is led by French state energy giant EDF, in return for the chance to build its own design of reactor at Bradwell with EDF’s support………

The only change to the Hinkley deal is that the Government has taken powers to veto EDF selling its controlling stake in the project, leading critics to call Mrs May’s review “a lot of hot air”……..Both CGN and EDF made clear they did not regard the new safeguards as any obstacle to proceeding with the plans for a Chinese reactor at Bradwell.

Although ministers made no mention of Bradwell in their announcement, sources told the Telegraph that CGN had privately received Government assurance its plans, which were endorsed by the previous administration, were still welcome.

CGN said it was “delighted” by the Hinkley decision which would allow it to “move forward and deliver” Bradwell.

It is understood the firm hopes to begin the process of seeking UK safety approval for its Hualong One reactor design in the autumn. EDF has previously said such a plant could begin construction as early as 2022, subject to approval by UK regulators.

Mrs May’s joint chief of staff, Nick Timothy, has previously raised concerns that China could use its role in UK nuclear plants to “build weaknesses into computer systems which will allow them to shut down Britain’s energy production at will”………

September 16, 2016 Posted by | China, marketing, UK | Leave a comment

USA-China rivalry complicates their reaction to North Korea’s nuclear testing

Simmering US-China rivalry prompts North Korea nuclear test finger-pointing, CNBC News, @huileng_tan, 13 Sept 16  China has lashed out at the U.S. after Washington accused Beijing of not doing enough to arrest North Korean‘s nuclear ambitions, underscoring tensions between the two world powers in the geopolitically sensitive Korean Peninsula.

 At the Chinese foreign affairs ministry’s regular press conference on Monday, spokesperson Hua Chunying said U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter was being “unnecessarily modest” for thrusting the responsibility of handling Pyongyang solely on China.

“The cause and crux of the Korean nuclear issue rest with the U.S. rather than China,” added Hua in an official transcript from the foreign affairs ministry. “The core of the issue is the conflict between (North Korea) and the U.S. It is the U.S. who should reflect upon how the situation has become what it is today, and search for an effective solution. It is better for the doer to undo what he has done. The U.S. should shoulder its due responsibilities,” she said.

Hua was responding to Carter who singled out the East Asian giant at a news conference in Norway as bearing the responsibility for North Korea’s recalcitrant nuclear testing……..

On Tuesday, two U.S. B-1 bombers flew over South Korea in a show of solidarity with South Korea while Sung Kim, the U.S. envoy on North Korea, said the world’s largest economy remained open to a meaningful dialogue with Pyongyang, Reuters reported……..

The Chinese foreign affairs ministry’s Hua urged for dialogue among all parties to address security concerns. “It has been proven time and again that sanctions alone cannot solve the problem,” she added………

“China is very worried about the North Korean regime but it does not want a collapse of that regime and a unified Korea under the current the South Korea regime which they would regard as a mortal threat to their interest (with) American security forces right alongside their border,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box“.

That explained Beijing’s intense opposition to the deployment of the U.S. Thaad defense system on South Korean soil even though Seoul was an ally which had repeatedly explained that the weapon was for self-defense.

“(There is) a larger sense that China feels that they are in a long term rivalry (with the U.S.)… In my view, there is a troubling chill over U.S.-China relations and I don’t see either presidential candidates really offering a sensible way to lower the temperatures in this rivalry. But if China is locked into this rivalry as it sees it, then it is taking measures that we don’t like at all,” Lyle Goldstein, a professor at the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College told CNBC.

September 13, 2016 Posted by | China, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Five remarkable facts on China’s solar and wind energy

wind-solar-Cornwall-UKflag-ChinaChina Five little known facts about the country’s solar and wind boom [good graphs] September 8, 2016 by Lauri Myllyvirta  @laurimyllyvirta  China is installing one wind turbine an hour – according to a new analysis of the latest data on the country’s startling state-backed renewables boom.

The analysis comes as China – alongside the US – moved to ratify the Paris climate treaty.

China’s coal use fell for the second year in a row in 2015, with 2016 on track to be the third – though it remains the largest source of energy; causing an estimated 370,000 premature deaths from air pollution in 2013.

But it’s China’s use of renewable energy that is really changing.

1. Power generation from wind and solar increased more than China’s total electricity demand in 2015.

So yes, energy demand in the world’s largest economy is growing but this new data means that all new demand was covered from these sources.

In detail that means:

Electricity consumption in China rose 0.5% from 2014 to 2015, from 5522 TWh (terawatt-hours) to 5550 TWh.

At the same time, electricity generated from wind and solar sources increased by 21% and 64%, respectively, covering off the rise almost twice over.

2. China’s increase in power generation from wind and solar in 2015 (48 TWh) alone was twice as large as Ireland’s entire electricity demand the previous year (24 TWh).

3. Half of all wind power capacity and almost one third of all solar PV capacity installed globally in 2015 was in China.

4. The surface area of solar panels installed in China in 2015 is equal to over 10,000 football pitches. That’s more than one football pitch per hour, every hour of the year.

5. China’s targets a similar pace of wind and solar growth in its 2020 renewable energy targets.This will mean adding approximately the entire electricity demand of UK from wind and solar in just five years. See the full dataset here.

September 10, 2016 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

China’s new power demand being met in full by wind and solar

Australian solar and wind.Data: All China’s new power demand met by wind and solar last year [good graphs] September 8, 2016  by Joe Sandler Clarke  @JSandlerClarke  China dramatically increased the portion of its electricity generated from wind and solar in 2015, with the growth in the two forms of power alone exceeding the rise in the country’s total electricity demand.

China: Six little known facts about the country’s solar and wind boom   New data collated by Greenpeace shows that the country’s electricity consumption rose 0.5% last year, from 5522 TWh (terawatt hours) to 5550 TWh.

Wind and solar comfortably met this new demand, producing 186.3 TWh and 38.3 TWh of electricity in 2015, compared to 153.4 TWh and 23.3 TWh the year before. That’s a dramatic increase: 21% and 64%, respectively.

To give those numbers more context, China’s increase in power generation from wind and solar in 2015 (48 TWh) alone was twice Ireland’s entire electricity demand the previous year (24 TWh).

Half UK energy needs  In fact, Chinese wind alone could have met more than half the UK’s entire energy needs in 2015 (304 TWh).

The expansion of renewable energy generation was made possible by China vastly increasing its wind and solar capacity in 2015, up 28% and 54% respectively on 12 months previously. In total, the country made up nearly half of the world’s new solar and wind capacity last year.

Coal use falls  The increased use of renewable energy, together with a marked economic shift away from heavy industry sectors, has meant that coal use in the country has dropped for a third year in a row, though it is still the biggest source of global CO2 emissions.

Last week, China announced that it was ratifying the Paris climate agreement, alongside the United States, in a move widely hailed as historic.

With the American presidential election now just two months away, it remains to be seen whether the States will be able to catch up in the race to lead the post-fossil fuels global economy.  See the full dataset here.

September 10, 2016 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

US-China Cooperation on N. Korean Nuclear Threat is undermined by national rivalries

US-China Tensions Undermine Cooperation on N. Korean Nuclear Threat SEOUL — VOA NEWS 8 SEP 16  Washington and Beijing’s longstanding agreement on the need to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions is, analysts say, splintering over rising tensions in the region and diverging national interests.

American and South Korean officials, as well as analysts from China and Russia, addressed the increasingly complex security situation on the Korean peninsula at the Seoul Defense Dialogue on Thursday, organized by the South Korean Ministry of Defense.

Stay the course

Kim Hong-kyun, the South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peace and Security Affairs, called for continued international support to pressure the Kim Jong Un government to curb its defiant and continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles……..

The latest round of United Nations sanctions caused economic pain, especially, Kim said, in trade, shipping and finance. However, since the new restrictions were imposed in March, North Korea has conducted 20 tests of short and medium range missiles, including submarine-based launches, advancing its capability to reach the U.S. mainland with a nuclear strike.

Both Kim and U.S. Undersecretary of Defense David Shear noted that diplomatic outreach is at a standstill as both Seoul and Washington demand that Pyongyang first take significant action to dismantle its nuclear program before any talks can occur.

“Unfortunately, today there have been no credible signs that North Korea is ready to move down this path,” Shear said.

China   For sanctions to be effective, China’s support remains crucial as it is North Korea’s economic lifeline. Nearly 90 percent of all North Korean trade flows through China.

Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in China, said officials in Beijing have doubts that sanctions alone will force Pyongyang to change……..

September 9, 2016 Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concerned about nuclear safety in China

CHINA STILL NEEDS ‘FURTHER WORK’ TO IMPROVE NUCLEAR SAFETY, IAEA SAYS 08 September 2016 SHANGHAI: China has boosted safety regulation at its growing fleet of nuclear reactors but needs “further work” in areas such as waste management and handling ageing plants, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Thursday.

September 9, 2016 Posted by | China, safety | Leave a comment

USA and China formally ratify Paris climate agreement

logo Paris climate1Flag-USAflag-ChinaUS joins China in ratifying Paris climate agreement in ‘turning point’ for planet , ABC News 4 Sept 16 America and China have formally joined the Paris climate change agreement, with US President Barack Obama hailing the accord as the “moment we finally decided to save our planet”.

The move by the world’s two biggest polluters is a major step forward for the 180-nation deal, which sets ambitious goals for capping global warming and funnelling trillions of dollars to poor countries facing climate catastrophe.

Mr Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping handed ratification document to United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon, who said he was now optimistic the agreement will be in force by the end of the year.

Mr Ban described the two leaders as far-sighted, bold and ambitious.

“China and the United States represent nearly 40 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

“Now by formally joining the Paris agreement your have added powerful momentum to the drive for the agreement to enter into force this year.”

Mr Obama said history would show that the Paris deal would “ultimately prove to be a turning point, the moment we finally decided to save our planet”……..

September 5, 2016 Posted by | China, climate change, USA | Leave a comment

China ratifies Paris climate agreement

logo Paris climate1China has ratified Paris climate agreement, state media says, ABC News 3 Sep 16  China has ratified the Paris agreement on climate change, according to state media, a key move by the world’s biggest polluter that brings the deal a major step closer to coming into force.

The National People’s Congress legislature voted to adopt “the proposal to review and ratify the Paris Agreement”, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The Paris pact calls for capping global warming at well below two degrees Celsius, and 1.5C if possible, compared with pre-industrial levels.

China is responsible for about 25 per cent of global carbon emissions, with the US in second place on about 15 per cent, making their efforts crucial in the fight against warming.

The Paris deal will come into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified it……..

September 5, 2016 Posted by | China, climate change | Leave a comment

UK PM Theresa May to be pressured at G20, by China, to approve Hinkley nuclear power project

Illustration of Hinkley Point C nuclear station. Image: EDF Energy/PAG20: China expected to press Theresa May on Hinkley nuclear plant  As PM prepares to meet Xi Jinping at summit, officials have reportedly raised issue of delayed power station, Guardian, ,  , 2 Sep 16Theresa May is expected to come under pressure from China at the G20 summit over her decision to review the proposed Hinkley nuclear plant, after the issue was raised by Beijing in a meeting with the British energy minister.

The new British prime minister will have her first face-to-face meeting with Xi Jinping, the Chinese premier, at the summit on Sunday or Monday, amid continuing tensions over Hinkley Point in Somerset.

May angered Beijing by deciding in July that approval of the French- and Chinese-backed £18bn nuclear plant would be delayed, apparently as a result of security concerns over Chinese involvement.

The Chinese government has been publicly making its clear it wants the project to go ahead, but May and her ministers have stuck to the position that the government is “considering all the component parts of the project before making its decision in the early autumn”.

It is understood Chinese officials raised the issue of Hinkley last week when Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, the new energy and intellectual property minister, made a low-profile trip to China. The Chinese National Energy Administration said on its website that Neville-Rolfe met one of its top officials in Beijing to discuss Hinkley Point……..

anti-nuclear groups urged the prime minister to stand firm against Chinese and French lobbying for the Hinkley Point power station to go ahead.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said May had a “delicate diplomatic job awaiting her at the G20, and she will no doubt come under renewed pressure to give Hinkley the go-ahead.”

“But the prime minister has shown before that she won’t be bullied into signing up to a deal that doesn’t serve the interests of the British public,” he added……..

September 2, 2016 Posted by | China, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

China, USA, Russia, Japan all vying to sell nuclear reactors to Turkey

nuclear-marketing-crapSealing the Deal: Turkey, China Launch Nuclear Cooperation Partnership, , 1 Sep 16  The news follows last week’s ratification by the Turkish parliament of the Sino-Turkish Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.

global nuclear conglomerate

Ankara has opted to cooperate with Beijing, ratifying an agreement which includes not only nuclear power plant construction on Turkish territory, but also joint nuclear power development with China and the US. The Chinese State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation will implement technologies obtained in collaboration with US-based Westinghouse Electric company. The potential technological tripartite arrangement could result in significant regional and global political clout, according to the Asia Times. After a successful contract with Russia in 2010 to build Turkey’s first nuclear plant in Akkuyu, Ankara made plans for a second plant, to be located in Sinop, on the Black Sea. Among potential partners were Japan, a plan which was suspended following the Fukushima disaster. Canada, China and South Korea were also considered as possible partners. Although Beijing’s financing made the Chinese option attractive, the Turkish government in May 2013 awarded the construction of the second Turkish nuclear power plant to a Japanese-French consortium.
Turkey nonetheless continued collaborating with China on energy-related issues. Beginning November 2014, Turkey and China boosted mutual cooperation, and that year signed an agreement of exclusivity with the Chinese State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) for a third nuclear plant. In June, Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, during a visit to China for the G20 Energy Ministers Meeting, signed a memorandum of understanding for the mutual development of nuclear power technologies. In August, China’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, Zhang Ming, visited Turkey to express solidarity with the country’s elected government and to discuss energy issues. Ratification of a 2012 nuclear cooperation agreement with China came soon after. Currently, the Chinese State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) is close to winning the competition to construct Turkey’s third nuclear power plant, slated to cost some $25 million and have a 5,000-megawatt capacity.

September 2, 2016 Posted by | China, marketing, Turkey | Leave a comment