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Typhoon Mangkhut heading straight for 2 Chinese nuclear power stations

RED ALERT: Typhoon Mangkhut to SMASH into TWO nuclear plants as MILLIONS evacuate in panic https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1018412/Typhoon-Mangkhut-Hong-Kong-China-nuclear-plants-red-alert-worst-storm

TYPHOON MANGKHUT – the most powerful storm of the year – is expected to directly hit two nuclear power plants later today with shocking 120mph winds, as officials issue a red alert warning.

By OLI SMITH  Sep 16, 2018 Typhoon Mangkhut has battered Hong Kong and southern China today, prompting 2.45 million to evacuate.

The typhoon is the world’s most powerful storm of the year, with winds as high as 170 miles per hour – twice as powerful as Hurricane Florence which has struck the US east coast. At least 64 people have died in the wake of the typhoon in the Phillipines while so far two are reportedly dead in Hong Kong.

Officials have issued a red alert warning amid mounting fears over two nuclear power stations in the direct path of the typhoon.There are concerns the typhoon will damage the nuclear reactors and efforts are underway to avoid a repeat of the Japanese Fukushima catastrophe, when an earthquake and tsunami sent three nuclear reactors into meltdown.

The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station, both in Guangdong, mainland China, confirmed they were “combat ready” and in emergency lockdown as the superstorm nears.

Emergency safety investigations have been carried out at both plants for last-minute preparations behind the typhoon strikes this evening with 120mph winds.

A spokesman for the Taishan facility said: “All emergency personnel are at their posts and have conducted their preparatory work.The plant is fully prepared for the typhoon, and everything is in its place.”

Workers at the Yangjiang plant also secured the facility’s five generating units but fears remain for the sixth, which remains under construction.

Plant manager Chen Weizhong added that all doors and windows were tightly closed.

Mangkhut has already caused mass devastation in the Philippines, where around 40 gold miners are feared trapped following a landslide.The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) raised the storm signal to T10 – the highest level possible, as the city shut down.

Footage from Hong Kong shows the scale of devastation, including a high-rise construction crane collapsing and windows in skyscrapers breaking under pressure.

One video shows a father and son swept off their feet and thrown into a wall due to the sheer power of the winds

After the typhoon passes over Hong Kong, the powerful storm is expected to wreak havoc across several Chinese megacities.

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September 19, 2018 Posted by | China, climate change, safety | Leave a comment

Typhoon Mangkhut heads towards two nuclear power stations on China’s Guangdong coast

Typhoon Mangkhut: Two nuclear power plants on China’s Guangdong coast in path of storm  Workers batten down the hatches at Yangjiang and Taishan facilities as superstorm set to make landfall nearby, South China Morning Post Sarah Zheng, 16 September, 2018,Two nuclear power plants stand on the projected path of Typhoon Mangkhut, which is expected to make landfall in mainland China as early as Sunday afternoon. Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station, both in Guangdong province, said they were “in combat readiness” mode as the superstorm approached.

The Taishan plant, which is about 135km from Hong Kong, said via WeChat that officials had discussed how best to deal with the approaching storm and specialist workers had conducted safety investigations.

Emergency response teams had also been briefed and were prepared for the typhoon’s arrival………

The Yangjiang power plant, which went into commercial operation in 2014, has been in the news before.

In 2016, four members of its staff were punished for breaching operational guidelines and covering up an incident in which a residual heat-removal pump on one of the reactors stopped functioning for six minutes.

Last year, component supplier Dalian Teikoku Canned Motor Pump Company was fined for violating operating rules regarding welding at the plant……..https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2164363/chinese-nuclear-power-plant-path-super-typhoon-mangkhut

September 17, 2018 Posted by | China, climate change | Leave a comment

China Building a Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker

September 14, 2018 Posted by | China, technology | Leave a comment

Ecological risks of China’s floating nuclear power plants in South China Sea

China’s Floating Nuclear Power Plants Pose Risks in South China Sea, VOA, August 31, 2018  Ralph Jennings, 

September 3, 2018 Posted by | China, oceans, safety | Leave a comment

China reaffirms commitment to no first use of nuclear weapons

China stands by its commitment not using nuclear weapons, Pakistan Observer , August 28, 2018  BEIJING : China on Tuesday reiterated that it will not use nuclear weapons first and foremost at any time and under any circumstances.

This is the policy from the first day, since the possession of nuclear weapons, said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying at a regular news briefing.

The Chinese government has solemnly stated that it will never go for first use of nuclear weapons. China has always abide by this commitment, firmly adheres to the nuclear strategy of self-defense and defense, and always maintains nuclear power at the minimum level required for national security, without posing a threat to any country.

We resolutely oppose any ill-conceived practices that arbitrarily distorted China’s policy intentions and sought excuses for expanding and strengthening its nuclear arsenal, she added.

Hua Chunying termed the US Department of Defense’s annual report to this effect, ridiculous, stating that the so-called report is unreasonable to China.

Asked to comment on President Trump’s statement on China-US economic and trade consultations, she said China’s position on relevant issues is consistent and its attitude is very clear and consistent.

“We have consistently advocated the resolution of contradictions and differences through dialogue and consultation, and we insist that dialogue and consultation must be based on reciprocity, equality and integrity. Only such communication and consultation can make sense and progress can be made,” she added……..https://pakobserver.net/china-stands-by-its-commitment-not-using-nuclear-weapons/

August 29, 2018 Posted by | China, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China co-operating with Russia in nuclear war games

Chinese Military Joining Russians for Nuclear War Games, Washington Free Beacon , Pentagon closely watching Beijing, Moscow forces in upcoming Vostok-18 exercise  Bill GertzAugust 24, 2018 Russia and China will hold a large-scale military exercise next month that will include simulated nuclear weapons attacks, according to American defense officials.

The People’s Liberation Army will send more than 3,200 troops, 900 pieces of military equipment, and 30 aircraft to Russia for the exercise known as Vostok-18, or East-18, the Chinese Defense Ministry said, noting the exercises will involve practicing maneuver defense, live firing of weapons, and counterattack.

“We urge Russia to take steps to share information regarding its exercises and operations in Europe to clearly convey its intentions and minimize and potential misunderstanding,” Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said when asked about Vostok-18.

Additionally, the joint Russian-Chinese exercises scheduled for Sept. 11 through 15 will include military forces from Mongolia for the first time……….https://freebeacon.com/national-security/chinese-military-joining-russians-nuclear-war-games/

August 25, 2018 Posted by | China, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pebble-bed nuclear reactors – a safety concern

Experts voice safety concerns about new pebble-bed nuclear reactors  Eurekalert, 23 Aug 18

Researchers advise caution as a commercial-scale nuclear reactor known as HTR-PM prepares to become operational in China. The reactor is a pebble-bed, high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR), a new design that is ostensibly safer but that researchers in the U.S. and Germany warn does not eliminate the possibility of a serious accident. Their commentary, publishing August 23 in the journal Joule, recommends continued research, additional safety measures, and an extended startup phase that would allow for better monitoring.

“There is no reason for any kind of panic, but nuclear technology has risk in any case,” says first author Rainer Moormann, a nuclear safety researcher based in Germany. “A realistic understanding of those risks is essential, especially for operators, and so we urge caution and a spirit of scientific inquiry in the operation of HTR-PM.”

…….the soon-to-be-operational HTR-PM has been built without the safeguards that nuclear reactors in operation today are usually equipped with: it does not have a high-pressure, leak-tight containment structure to serve as a backup in case of an accidental release of radioactive material. It also does not have a redundant active cooling system.

“No reactor is immune to accidents. The absence of core meltdown accidents does not mean that a dangerous event is not possible,” Moormann says. He and his coauthors, Scott Kemp and Ju Li of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argue that with new technology, there is always a higher chance of user error.  And prototype HTGRs have surprised their operators in the past by forming localized hot spots in the core and unexpectedly high levels of radioactive dust. The pebble-bed design also produces a larger volume of radioactive waste, which is challenging to store or treat……….

Joule, Moormann et al.: “Caution is Necessary in Operating and Managing the Waste of New Pebble-bed Nuclear Reactors” https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(18)30335-0      https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-08/cp-evs081618.php

August 24, 2018 Posted by | China, safety, technology | Leave a comment

Finland company looks to China’s lucrative nuclear decommissionig and nuclear waste market

Finnish firms target Chinese radwaste market, WNN, 23 August 2018

Based on expected installed nuclear generating capacity of 50 GWe by 2020, China’s annual used fuel arisings will amount to about 1200 tonnes at that stage, the cumulative total being about 14,000 tonnes then.

“As China becomes increasingly mindful of environmental integrity and reduces its use of fossil fuels, [its] zero-carbon nuclear energy solution requires enhanced focus on radioactive waste management,” the companies said in a joint statement. “Finnish expertise has an important role in disposing of Chinese radioactive waste and building a cleaner future together with shared respect for nature and the environment.”……….Finnish waste management company Posiva – jointly owned by Fortum and TVO – launched Posiva Solutions in June 2016. The business, it said, would “focus on the marketing of the know-how accumulated from the design, research and development efforts in the final disposal of used nuclear fuel, as well as on associated consulting services”. http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Finnish-firms-target-Chinese-radwaste-market

August 24, 2018 Posted by | China, Finland, wastes | Leave a comment

Russia and China pushing to create their economic nuclear empires

Russia on an international offensive to sell its nuclear plants, Vladimir Putin’s government vies with China to become a superpower in the field  MOSCOW — Russia is stepping up its overseas sales of nuclear power plants, with state-run nuclear energy company Rosatom agreeing in July to cooperate in building a plant in the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan and reaching an accord with China to build a plant in that country.

Russia accounts for 67% of the world’s nuclear plant deals currently in development. By 2030, Rosatom aims to increase its overseas sales to two-thirds of total sales, from 50% at currently. Vladimir Putin’s government is looking to expand Russian influence through nuclear diplomacy, vying with China — which is promoting its own nuclear plants — for the status of nuclear energy superpower.

“We hope that a lot of other countries will become our partners, and as they say, ‘nuclear newcomers,'” Rosatom Chief Executive Alexey Likhachev told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting in early July…….

During a visit by Putin to China in June, Rosatom entered into a framework agreement to cooperate in nuclear plant construction, including four reactors in Jiangsu and Liaoning provinces.

Russia intends to make nuclear power plants a major revenue earner alongside exports of crude oil and natural gas. Rosatom’s annual business report for 2016 showed it was involved in nuclear plant projects in more than 10 countries, including China, Bangladesh and India. The company had $133.4 billion of overseas orders, up 21% from a year earlier. It targets $150 billion to $200 billion in orders in 2030…….

Russia’s strength in the field is the all-out support of the government, and its ability to take on all aspects of a nuclear energy project. The Putin government attaches much importance to nuclear plants, seeing them as a globally competitive, technology-intensive industry with an important role to play in revitalizing Russia’s domestic industry. Putin himself has successfully pitched Russian nuclear plants to foreign leaders during international summits.

Russian nuclear plants also boast price competitiveness, with the government providing loans to finance the high costs. Not only does Russia build the plant, but it supplies the fuel, operates and maintains the reactors, and disposes of the used fuel. This makes a deal with Russia attractive for countries that want to build their first nuclear plant, but which lack the operational know-how…….

China has made it clear that its policy is to expand overseas nuclear plant deals by building on the technology of Russia, France and other countries that have been at the forefront of nuclear plant development. …….https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Energy/Russia-on-an-international-offensive-to-sell-its-nuclear-plants

August 13, 2018 Posted by | China, marketing, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

To the dismay of the global nuclear industry, China’s nuclear expansion has stalled

Why has China’s nuclear expansion programme stalled?  By Compelo Staff Writer, 9 Aug 18,  Completion of the first EPR and AP1000 reactors in China marks a major milestone, but, as Steve Kidd of East Cliff Consulting explains, the nation’s ambitious nuclear expansion programme is no longer on track. Many of the negative factors which have affected nuclear programmes elsewhere in the world are now also equally applicable in China. Despite many new reactors starting up, it is clear that the programme has continued to slow.

The most obvious sign of this is the lack of approvals for new construction starts. There have been no new approvals for approaching three years, so the number of reactors under construction has been falling sharply. Other indications of trouble are:

uncertainties about the type of reactor to be utilised in the future
the position of the power market
the structure of the industry with its large state-owned enterprises (SOEs)
the degree of support from state planners and the level of public opposition to nuclear plans.
where China now stands with its planned transition to advanced reactors and a fuel reprocessing strategy.

Over-supply and the AP1000 reactor

Start-ups of two imported Gen III reactor designs (Westinghouse AP1000 and the Areva EPR) are now happening at last, but the delays no doubt concerned the regulatory authorities. The problems with the AP1000 (at Sanmen and Haiyang) are the more serious, as this reactor was destined for most of the future sites in China. Although the units at both sites are now ready to enter commercial operation, this is unlikely to bring forward a flood of new approvals. China has suffered a severe dent in its confidence in the AP1000, not helped by Westinghouse’s US bankruptcy. The authorities now no doubt wish to see clear evidence of successful operation before authorising more units. There may be further reactors at the two existing sites, but there are many others that have been “ready to go” for several years now.

Another important reason for the slowdown relates to the size of nuclear programme China needs. Problems of power over-supply in particular regions are now pressing and connected to the continued construction of coal generating stations and the rapid expansion of wind and solar power. There are important questions to be resolved about how many reactors are needed to satisfy power demand and the price that can be paid for their electricity. Nevertheless, most of the Chinese nuclear companies want to build lots of new units and feel they are being held back by the authorities. The rapid expansion of wind and solar generating capacity has reminded the planners that there are alternative means of achieving environmental goals, while the Chinese hydroelectric programme is still enormous.

The shadow of Fukushima

The Fukushima accident still casts a significant shadow over the nuclear sector in China and regulators are clearly very cautious about having a big nuclear programme. Ultimately one person at the top of the regulatory authority has to take responsibility for safety and having 100 reactors in operation is far more burdensome than 20 or 40. South Korea’s apparent turning away from nuclear and the tardiness of Japanese reactor restarts are also unhelpful in inspiring confidence in the region.

China’s nuclear programme is now much harder to assess. The picture up to 2020 is fairly certain, as units under construction come into operation). The 58GW capacity target by end-2020 will be missed by perhaps 5GW, but more serious is another goal – having 30GW under construction by then. This would imply a programme of six reactors a year up to 2025, a similar level to 2015-2020. Almost all will have to be approved before the end of 2020. On recent trends, this looks unlikely and so it may be prudent to assume a programme of only 3-4 units per year beyond 2020. This means nuclear generating capacity of only 90GW or so by 2030, well below previous expectations. Beyond then it is difficult to judge, but the chance of China having a huge nuclear programme by 2050, perhaps consisting of 200-400 reactors, is much less than a few years ago. Estimates that China may move ahead of the USA in nuclear generating capacity by the mid or late 2020s now look wide of the mark. Even if 10-20 US units do eventually shut down by 2030, it could happen after then.

The dent in confidence surrounding the imported Gen III designs has been overcome, to some extent, by China’s development of the Hualong reactor, which satisfies the regulators’ insistence that all approved designs are at the Gen III level. Four units are now under construction in China (plus two in Pakistan). The two units being built by CNNC at Fuqing are on schedule to go online in 2020-2021, but CGN’s pair at Fangchenggang are apparently unlikely before 2021-2022. Whether Hualongs will replace AP1000s at any of its sites in China remains to be seen.

Big questions surround the CAP1400, the larger version of the AP1000, which China has developed, and the extent of the programme for high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) and small modular reactors (SMRs).

Approval of construction of the initial CAP1400s has been long-delayed and surely still awaits the regulator’s satisfaction with the AP1000. It appears that the HTGRs and SMRs will remain as marginal components of the main Chinese nuclear programme, but may offer useful additional export opportunities. The economics of the HTGRs are apparently questionable versus large LWRs, while there are lots of SMR designs around the world without anyone committing to build them.

Economic issues

Perhaps surprisingly, a big issue today affecting the Chinese nuclear programme is its economic viability. With nuclear power only currently representing 3-4% of China’s electricity supply, one would think that there is still plenty of room for dramatic growth. However, the slowing of the Chinese economy and the switch to less energy-intensive activities, together with over-investment in power generation capacity, means that there is now more than can be carried in the grids in some provinces. It cannot therefore be assumed that new nuclear units will run at the 80-90% capacity factors necessary to pay back the funds invested in their construction.

Tariffs that producers receive when they sell power to the grid are also under threat. The central government wishes to liberalise the Chinese power sector and make it more responsive to economic criteria and this may not help nuclear. The rising costs of building Gen III units are also a factor. Reactors may have to load-follow, which is not ideal in the technical or economic sense. Nuclear has to compete against other generation options…………

Power to the people
Many people used to believe that because China is a centrally-planned economy with a strong one-party government, public opinion did not matter much and any opposition to nuclear could be easily overcome. Nothing could be further from the truth. Public opinion matters a great deal in China and politicians fight shy of any issue that could inflame public opinion in any way. The last thing the Chinese government wants is people protesting on the streets – and this has already happened with two proposed fuel cycle plants. Both were quickly cancelled.

One particular public acceptance problem is inland sites for nuclear plants. Having imposed a moratorium on these for now (in fact to slow the nuclear programme down), the government has made a huge problem for itself by giving the impression that these sites are “second best” and maybe not as safe as the coastal sites (where all current Chinese reactors are located).

The threat in China is that nuclear may become no more than a niche, bridging technology, as a route to something better in the future.

This article originally appeared in Nuclear Engineering International.

Steve Kidd is an independent nuclear consultant and economist with East Cliff Consulting. https://www.compelo.com/energy/news/china-nuclear-expansion/

August 11, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, China, politics | Leave a comment

China aims to lead the world with its own nuclear reactor design

China promoting own technical standards to aid nuclear push overseas https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-nuclear-standards/china-promoting-own-technical-standards-to-aid-nuclear-push-overseas-idUSKBN1KV05O  Reuters Staff, SHANGHAI (Reuters), 10 Aug 18  – China’s State Council said it would promote the use of China’s nuclear industry’s independent technological standards worldwide, aiming to play “a leading role” in the global standardization process by 2027.

Its two major nuclear project developers, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and the China General Nuclear Project Corporation (CGN), are jointly promoting an advanced third-generation reactor known as the Hualong One to overseas clients, with CGN aiming to deploy the technology at a proposed nuclear project at Bradwell in England.

The push to extend Chinese technological standards was disclosed in new cabinet guidelines published late on Thursday.

China aims to raise its total nuclear capacity to 58 gigawatts (GW) by the end of the decade, up from 37 GW at the end of June.

Capacity could reach as high as 200 GW by 2030, and China also has ambitions to dominate the global nuclear industry via its homegrown technologies.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Eric Meijer

 

August 11, 2018 Posted by | China, marketing | Leave a comment

Warning about China’s state-owned companies being involved in Britain’s nuclear industry

Beware China’s role in UK nuclear industry https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/29/beware-china-role-in-uk-nuclear-industry

Jeffrey Henderson warns against Chinese state-owned firms playing a decisive part in one of our most strategically important industries. 

While we need to be concerned about China’s growing presence in Britain’s electricity generation (Nuclear power: China’s move into UK hints at scale of its wider ambitions, July 27), we should be asking searching questions of our government. They seem not to understand (or don’t care about) the nature of the companies they are dealing with.

Chinese state-owned enterprises are not like EDF or the German, Dutch and French state-owned firms that run our railways. They are dramatically different because China is governed by a Leninist state. Consequently, Chinese state firms are ultimately controlled not by the State Council’s State Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, but by the Communist party.

Furthermore, one of the two Chinese companies initially involved in the Hinkley Point plant, China National Nuclear (CNNC), while having a civil division, is mainly involved in the production of the country’s nuclear weapons. Consequently, it is almost certainly controlled by the Chinese military: the People’s Liberation Army.

With Chinese companies set to take the lead role at Bradwell and Sizewell (including building the reactors and running the stations) and, given EDF’s financial problems, a controlling stake in up to five other nuclear power plants, the British government is setting us up for a situation where the Chinese Communist party – and, assuming CNNC participation, the Chinese military – will have a decisive role in one of our most strategically important industries. To allow this borders on insanity and clearly has to be stopped.

Jeffrey Henderson
Professor of international development, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol

July 30, 2018 Posted by | China, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

China’s plan for global nuclear dominance depends on Britain

China’s long game to dominate nuclear power relies on the UK https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/26/chinas-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 Chinadialogue.net, 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

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) acquires 75% stake in Swedish wind power project

Reuters 18th July 2018 , China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) has acquired a 75 percent
stake in a Swedish wind power project from Australia’s Macquarie Group
and GE Energy Financial Services, state news agency Xinhua reported on
Wednesday. The North Pole wind power project, located in Pitea, Sweden, is
expected to be operational by the end of 2019 with a capacity of 650,000
kilowatts, making it the single largest onshore wind power park in Europe,
Xinhua said.
https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-cgn-sweden/chinas-cgn-acquires-75-percent-of-swedish-wind-farm-xinhua-idUSKBN1K81IC?rpc=401&

July 20, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, China, renewable, Sweden | Leave a comment

For climate change action, nuclear is a poor choice

Many argue that NPPs are necessary to mitigate climate change, but only one stage out of the 14-stage nuclear fuel cycle is carbon free. Unless equipped with desalination facilities, reactors consume vast amounts of water, an increasingly-scarce resource in countries like Pakistan, which is predicted to completely run out of water by 2025. Nuclear waste must be stored and secured for tens of thousands of years, not to mention the environmental disasters caused by reactor meltdowns. There are other strategies to limit global temperature rise below two degrees, and the idea that countries should deploy all low-carbon technologies no matter the costs should not be used to support such a volatile industry

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

Although China will continue to promote the benevolent aspects of the BRI, countries along its corridors and elsewhere should not fall victim to the civil nuclear trap. Nuclear energy is too costly, too time-consuming and too risky, especially in light of better alternatives. Instead, developing countries should lead the way towards a secure, low-carbon, low-cost energy future without NPPs.

Nuclear advocates argue correctly that nuclear has comparable levelized costs to solar photovoltaics (PV). The irony is that projects regularly go over budget and costs can actually increase the more nuclear experience a country has, contradicting the learning curve phenomenon. Although the French nuclear program was incredibly successful, it demonstrated “negative learning,” wherein costs actually increased for additional projects. (Solar PV and wind costs decreased the fastest with every doubling of experience.)

Therefore, innovations and experience in nuclear technology might not lead to cost reductions. Continue reading

July 6, 2018 Posted by | China, climate change | Leave a comment