The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

If Trump attacks North Korea, China would enter the war against USA

CHINA’S CHILLING MESSAGE TO DONALD TRUMP AND THE WORLD COMMUNITY, InQUISTR, Alan Ewart, 19 Oct 17, “…..The prospect of USA vs, North Korea war is terrifying. According to Global Firepower, the hermit nation has a standing army almost one million strong. North Korea also has a trained military reserve that is 5.5 million strong, and which could engage the U.S. in a Vietnam style guerrilla war for decades.

This leads some to think that a preemptive nuclear strike against North Korea would be the only effective way of waging war against a nation that is building a nuclear arsenal. Therein lies the danger, one which could easily tip the world into a nuclear World War 3. A nuclear attack on North Korean capital Pyongyang would kill millions and would be very likely to draw China into World War 3.

As you can see from the World Time and Date calculator, Pyongyang is just over 100 miles from Dandong, a Chinese city of almost one million people. Dandong would, therefore, be well within the fallout zone that would be caused by a nuclear strike on Pyongyang. Something that Chinese premier Xi Jinping will not tolerate.

As reported by the Daily Star, Xi Jinping has issued a chilling warning to the international community. In a speech at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party President Xi warned that the Chinese army will be able to “prevail in both conventional and new theatres of operation.” China has the worlds biggest standing army with over 2.5 million regular troops. President Xi is currently pouring billions into new military hardware and boosting troop numbers.

China is North Korea’s main trading partner and only real ally, and there are real fears that Beijing would join any war on the side of Pyongyang. Chinese leaders have repeatedly told Donald Trump to “cool it” over North Korea as they try to find a peaceful resolution to the Korean conflict.

Trump is due to meet President Xi next month when he visits Asia. Let’s hope that the leaders can find a way to resolve the issue without the world being plunged into World War 3.


October 21, 2017 Posted by | China, politics international, weapons and war | 2 Comments

China looks to a second record breaking year in solar power installations

Renew Economy 18th Oct 2017, China is on track to install a record-smashing 50GW of solar PV in 2017,
with latest data showing that the nation has so far installed around 42GW,
taking its total installed PV capacity to around 120GW. According to the
latest report from Asia Europe Clean Energy Consultants (AECEA), China
needs to add just under 3GW of new solar in each remaining month of 2017 to
reach 50GW, and deliver a second consecutive record breaking year.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

China forced to close top skiing area, due to earthquake concerns about North Korea’s nuclear tests

North Korean Nuclear Tests Close Chinese Ski Area, Outside, 17 Oct 17, 

Border resort shuttered amid earthquake and volcano concerns after a series of underground detonations China announced an indefinite closure of the country’s only cat-access ski resort due to earthquakes that were caused by a series of underground nuclear tests conducted by North Korea.

Changbaishan Ski Resort is part of China’s Changbaishan National Nature Reserve, a nearly 800-square-mile preserve along North Korea’s northern border that sits within 70 miles of the nation’s nuclear test site at Punggye-ri. The underground nuclear detonations in late September registered a seismic magnitude of 6.3, and eight seconds later produced a burst of seismic energy measuring 4.1, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The events triggered a landslide on a mountain within Changbaishan, prompting China to close a large section of the reserve—the only section with ski access.

“For the safety and convenience of travelers, we have temporarily closed the zone of Changbai Mountain. Officials are thoroughly investigating the safety of the tourist area,” reads a message from Chinese authorities, adding that the area will remain closed until “the potential risks disappear.”………

But the mountain range along the border of North Korea and China is sacred to more than just powder hounds. According to North Korean legend, its highest peak, Paektu Mountain, is the birthplace of the country’s former dictator Kim Jong-il. According to geological history, the range is also the skeleton of a violent volcanic eruption, an event that turned an ancient peak into the ring of mountains that appear today.

Aside from earthquakes and the subsequent landslides and avalanches, researchers worry that continued nuclear tests could recreate that explosive scenario, reactivating magma chambers and kicking off what would be a catastrophic modern-day volcanic eruption. A Newsweekarticle said that for a nuclear detonation to cause serious damage to a volcano, a preceding underground blast would need to measure at least 100 kilotons. The explosion in September was estimated to be around two and a half times that size.

October 18, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, safety | Leave a comment

2017 – a catastrophic year for the nuclear industry – downturn in China, USA, and globally

More disastrous news for the nuclear power industry. In 2017 alone:
– clear signs of a major nuclear slow-down in China – the last remaining hope for the industry.
– the US nuclear power industry is in the middle of a full-blown crisis
– a seriously anti-nuclear government has been elected in South Korea
– Taiwan has reaffirmed a nuclear phase-out by 2025
– the South African nuclear power program was ruled illegal by the High Court and probably won’t be revived
– Switzerland voted in a referendum to phase out nuclear power (while all of Germany’s reactors will be closed by the end of 2022 and all of Belgium’s will be closed by the end of 2025).
– huge problems in the UK and France
– India’s nuclear power program is going nowhere and the government has implicitly acknowledged that plans for French EPR reactors and US AP1000 reactors will likely be shelved
– Japan’s nuclear power program remains in a miserable state
– Russia’s Rosatom has acknowledged that the pipeline for new reactors is fast drying up
Meanwhile, the growth of renewables has been spectacular and will grow even faster over the coming years. Renewables will be producing 3 times as much electricity as nuclear power by 2022.

Nuclear power’s deepening crisis, Jim Green, 16 Oct 2017,

This year has been catastrophic for nuclear power and just when it seemed the situation couldn’t get any worse for the industry, it did. There are clear signs of a nuclear slow-down in China, the only country with a large nuclear new-build program.

China’s nuclear slow-down is addressed in the latest World Nuclear Industry Status Report and also in an August 2017 article by former World Nuclear Association executive Steve Kidd. China’s nuclear program “has continued to slow sharply”, Kidd writes, with the most striking feature being the paucity of approvals for new reactors over the past 18 months. China Nuclear Engineering Corp., the country’s leading nuclear construction firm, noted earlier this year that the “Chinese nuclear industry has stepped into a declining cycle” because the “State Council approved very few new-build projects in the past years”.

Kidd continues: “Other signs of trouble are the uncertainties about the type of reactor to be utilised in the future, the position of the power market in China, the structure of the industry with its large state owned enterprises (SOEs), the degree of support from top state planners and public opposition to nuclear plans.”

Over-supply has worsened in some regions and there are questions about how many reactors are needed to satisfy power demand. Kidd writes: “[T]he slowing Chinese economy, the switch to less energy-intensive activities, and over-investment in power generation means that generation capacity outweighs grid capacity in some provinces and companies are fighting to export power from their plants.”

Kidd estimates that China’s nuclear capacity will be around 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, well below previous expectations. Forecasts of 200 GW by 2030, “not unusual only a few years ago, now seem very wide of the mark.” And even the 100 GW estimate is stretching credulity ‒nuclear capacity will be around 50 GW in 2020 and a doubling of that capacity by 2030 won’t happen if the current slow-down sets in.

Kidd states that nuclear power in China may become “a last resort, rather as it is throughout most of the world.” The growth of wind and solar “dwarfs” new nuclear, he writes, and the hydro power program “is still enormous.”

Chinese government agencies note that in the first half of 2017, renewables accounted for 70% of new capacity added (a sharp increase from the figure of 52% in calendar 2016), thermal sources (mainly coal) 28% and nuclear just 2%. Earlier this month, Beijing announced plans to stop or delay work on 95 GW of planned and under-construction coal-fired power plants, so the 70% renewables figure is set for a healthy boost.

Crisis in the US

The plan to build two AP1000 reactors in South Carolina ‒ abandoned in July after A$11.5 ‒ 13.3 billion was spent on the partially-built reactors ‒ is now the subject of multiple lawsuits and investigations including criminal probes. Westinghouse, the lead contractor, filed for bankruptcy protection in March. Westinghouse’s parent company Toshiba is selling its most profitable business (memory chips) to stave off bankruptcy.

The cost of the two reactors in South Carolina was estimated at A$12.4 billion in 2008 and the latest estimate ‒ provided after the decision to abandon the project ‒ was A$31.6 billion. Cost increases of that scale are the new norm for nuclear. Cost estimates for two French reactors under construction in France and Finland have tripled.

Pro-nuclear commentator Dan Yurman discussed the implications of the decision to abandon the VC Summer project in South Carolina in a September 11 post:

“It is the failure of one of the largest capital construction projects in the US Every time another newspaper headline appears about what went wrong at the VC Summer project, the dark implications of what it all means for the future of the nuclear energy industry get all the more foreboding. … Now instead of looking forward to a triumph for completion of two massive nuclear reactors generating 2300 MW of CO2 emission free electricity, the nation will get endless political fallout, and lawsuits, which will dominate the complex contractual debris, left behind like storm damage from a hurricane, for years to come.”

The only other nuclear new-build project in the US ‒ two partially-built AP1000 reactors in Georgia ‒ is hanging on by a thread. Georgia’s Public Service Commission is reviewing a proposal to proceed with the reactors despite the bankruptcy filing of the lead contractor (Westinghouse), lengthy delays (5.5 years behind schedule) and a doubling of the cost estimate (the original estimate was A$17.9 billion and the latest estimates range from A$32.5 ‒ 38.4 billion for the two reactors).

No other reactors are under construction in the US and there is no likelihood of any construction starts in the foreseeable future. The US reactor fleet is one of the oldest in the world ‒ 44 out of 99 reactors have been operating for 40 years or more ‒ so decline is certain. Six reactors have been shut down in the US over the past five years and many others are on the chopping block.

Indicative of their desperation, some nuclear advocates in the US (and to a lesser extent the UK) are openly acknowledging the contribution of nuclear power (and the civil nuclear fuel cycle) to the production of nuclear weapons and using that as an argument to sharply increase the massive subsidies the nuclear power industry already receives. That’s a sharp reversal from their usual furious denial of any connections between the ‘peaceful atom’ and the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Global downturn

Elsewhere, the nuclear industry is in deep malaise and has suffered any number of set-backs this year. Pro-nuclear lobby groups are warning about nuclear power’s “rapidly accelerating crisis“, a “crisis that threatens the death of nuclear energy in the West“, and noting that “the industry is on life support in the United States and other developed economies“.

The French nuclear industry is in its “worst situation ever” according to former EDF director Gérard Magnin. The only reactor under construction in France is six years behind schedule, the estimated cost has escalated from A$5 billion to A$16 billion, and the regulator recently announced that the pressure vessel head of the reactor will need to be replaced by 2024 following a long-running quality-control scandal. The two French nuclear utilities face crippling debts (A$56.5 billion in the case of EDF) and astronomical costs (up to A$151 billion to upgrade ageing reactors, for example), and survive only because of repeated government bailouts.

In South Africa, a High Court judgement on April 26 ruled that much of the country’s nuclear new-build program is without legal foundation. There is little likelihood that the program will be revived given that it is shrouded in corruption scandals and President Jacob Zuma will leave office in 2019 (if he isn’t ousted earlier).

Public support for South Korea’s nuclear power program has been in free-fall in recent years, in part due to a corruption scandal. Incoming President Moon Jae-in said on June 19 that his government will halt plans to build new nuclear power plants and will not extend the lifespan of existing plants beyond 40 years.

In June, Taiwan’s Cabinet reiterated the government’s resolve to phase out nuclear power by 2025.

In the UK, nuclear industry lobbyist Tim Yeo says the compounding problems facing the industry “add up to something of a crisis for the UK’s nuclear new-build programme.” The estimated cost of the only two reactors under construction was recently increased to A$46.2 billion (A$23.1 billion each) and they are eight years behind schedule.

India’s nuclear industry keeps promising the world and delivering very little ‒ nuclear capacity is 6.2 GW and nuclear power accounted for 3.4% of the country’s electricity generation last year.

In Japan, Fukushima clean-up and compensation cost estimates have doubled and doubled again and now stand at A$245 billion. Only five reactors are operating in Japan, compared to 54 before the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.

In Russia, Rosatom’s deputy general director Vyacheslav Pershukov said in June that the world market for new nuclear power plants is shrinking, and the possibilities for building new large reactors abroad are almost exhausted. He said Rosatom expects to be able to find customers for new reactors until 2020-2025 but “it will be hard to continue.”

In Switzerland, voters supported a May 21 referendum on a package of energy policy measures including a ban on new nuclear power reactors. Thus Switzerland has opted for a gradual nuclear phase-out and all reactors will probably be closed by the early 2030s, if not earlier (while all of Germany’s reactors will be closed by the end of 2022 and all of Belgium’s will be closed by the end of 2025).

Globally, the industry’s biggest problem is the ageing of the current fleet of reactors. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimates that just to maintain current capacity of 392 GW, about 320 new reactors (320 GW) would have to be built by 2050 to replace retired reactors. That’s 10 new reactors each year. A nuclear ‘renaissance’ has supposedly been underway over the past decade yet on average only five reactors have come online each year.

Comparison with renewables

The IAEA has released the 2017 edition of its International Status and Prospects for Nuclear Power report series. It states that the share of nuclear power in total global electricity generation has decreased for 10 years in a row, to under 11% in 2015, yet “this still corresponds to nearly a third of the world’s low carbon electricity production.” In other words, renewables (24.5%) generate more than twice as much electricity as nuclear power (10.5%) and the gap is growing rapidly.

Five years from now, renewables will likely be generating three times as much electricity as nuclear reactors. The International Energy Agency (IEA ‒ not to be confused with the IAEA) recently released a five-year global forecast for renewables, predicting capacity growth of 43% (920 GW) by 2022. The latest forecast is a “significant upwards revision” from last year’s forecast, the IEA states, largely driven by expected solar power growth in China and India.

The IEA forecasts that the share of renewables in global power generation will reach 30% in 2022, up from 24% in 2016. By 2022, nuclear’s share will be around 10% and renewables will be out-generating nuclear by a factor of three. Non-hydro renewable electricity generation has grown eight-fold over the past decade and will probably surpass nuclear by 2022, or shortly thereafter, then leave nuclear power in its wake as renewables expand and the ageing nuclear fleet atrophies.

October 16, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, China, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Chinese government boosting storage capacity for renewable energy

China to boost energy storage capacity to fuel renewable power use, Reuters, OCTOBER 12, 2017 

 Reuters Staff, BEIJING,  – China aims to boost its large-scale energy storage capacity over the next decade, the government’s central planner said, in a major push to solve the problem of stranded power in the west of the country as Beijing promotes the use of more renewable power……..

October 14, 2017 Posted by | China, energy storage | Leave a comment

North Korea Nuclear Test leaves Chinese city shaken

October 9, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Bill Gates partners with China’s government nuclear companies to develop his small nuclear reactor dream

China nuclear energy and coal company partner to make traveling wave nuclear reactor, brian wang, next big Future October 2, 2017, The China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) has signed an agreement with the Shenhua Group, China’s biggest coal producer, to promote the development of advanced “traveling wave” reactor technology, the state nuclear giant said.

The new organization will be a partnership with four Chinese energy companies and will have /A> starting capital of CNY1bn ($153.2 million).

TWR, one of several new “fourth-generation” reactor designs, uses depleted uranium and is more fuel-efficient and cheaper to run than conventional nuclear reactors.

Leading developers of TWR include the Bill Gates-backed Terrapower, which is working on large scale projects aimed at providing base-load electricity. CNNC said its chairman, Wang Shoujun, met with Gates in July to discuss cooperation.

TerraPower’s traveling wave design is a breeder reactor that produce more atomic fuel than they consume, reducing the need to add costly processed nuclear elements.

In 2006, Intellectual Ventures launched a spin-off named TerraPower to model and commercialize a working design of such a reactor, which later came to be called a “traveling-wave reactor”. TerraPower has developed TWR designs for low- to medium- (300 MWe) as well as high-power (~1000 MWe) generation facilities. Bill Gates featured TerraPower in his 2010 TED talk.

In 2010 a group from TerraPower applied for patent EP 2324480 A1 following WO2010019199A1 “Heat pipe nuclear fission deflagration wave reactor cooling”. The application was deemed withdrawn in 2014.

In September, 2015 TerraPower and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop a TWR. TerraPower plans to build a 600 MWe demonstration Plant, the TWR-P, by 2018–2022 followed by larger commercial plants of 1150 MWe in the late 2020s |.
………….Shenhua, which is in the middle of a merger with state power giant Guodian, is seeking to diversify away from coal and coal-fired power, and it has already been in talks with CNNC and CGN to invest in nuclear projects.

October 4, 2017 Posted by | China, technology | Leave a comment

Chinese govt owned company refuses to share with UK the security arrangements for nuclear power plant

Chinese firm behind Essex nuclear plant refuses to reveal security information, Guardian, Adam Vaughan, 2 Oct 17 , State-owned company refused disclosure of security arrangements for Chinese plant the Bradwell nuclear station could be modelled on. The Chinese state-owned company planning a nuclear power station in Essex refused to share the security arrangements for a Chinese nuclear plant with the British authorities, it has been revealed.

Inspectors from the UK nuclear regulator visited the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) in Shenzhen earlier this year, as part of the four-year approval process for the reactor the company wants to build at Bradwell.

A green light from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) would be a huge boost for China’s aspirations for exporting nuclear technology and Bradwell would be the first Chinese reactor to be built in a developed country.

Overall the ONR welcomed the “high level of expertise and commitment” shown by the Chinese, according to a report of the visit on 13-16 March, released to the Guardian under freedom of information rules.

However, CGN said it could not share material about security measures to protect its nuclear plant in Fangchenggang, China, which Bradwell could be modelled on.

“With regard to the sharing of information, such as the security plans for FCG [Fangchenggang] Unit 3, CGN stated that these were protected documents under Chinese regulations,” the UK authorities wrote, in a glimpse of UK nuclear regulation rubbing up against Chinese state secrecy.

But the ONR insisted that it was commonplace for foreign nuclear companies not to share sensitive documents around national security during the UK nuclear approval process, known as the Generic Design Assessment (GDA). It added that it was the arrangements for Bradwell that were relevant, not Fangchenggang………

CGN put up a third of £18bn cost towards EDF’s project to build French-designed reactors at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, in return for developing its own plant at Bradwell in Essex. The Bradwell B project is two thirds owned by CGN and one third EDF.

The government paused approval for Hinkley for several months last year, because of concerns over China’s stake. CGN is becoming an increasing central player in Britain’s atomic plans, having recently confirmed it is considering buying Toshiba’s troubled NuGen project to build a nuclear power station in Cumbria.

October 2, 2017 Posted by | China, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby pins its hopes on China to develop costly and dubious Generation IV nuclear reactors

the theories behind many of the proposed systems aren’t new and often date back to the 1950s and ’60s. Some experimental plants have been built, such as the fast breeder reactors in the U.K. and U.S. Most suffered from crippling cost or design problems or were abandoned after nuclear accidents.

“Most if not all of these so-called advanced reactor designs have been around for decades,”

Different designs have different problems. I don’t think anyone can be or should be confident that these problems can be resolved merely by throwing money and hiring engineers and scientists.”

Nuclear Experts Head to China to Test Experimental Reactors, Bloomberg By 

Stephen Stapczynski China is becoming the testing ground for a new breed of nuclear power stations designed to be safer and cheaper, as scientists from the U.S. and other Western nations find it difficult to raise enough money to build experimental plants at home.
 China National Nuclear Power Co. this month announced a joint venture to build and operate a “traveling wave reactor” in Hebei province, designed by Bellevue, Washington-based TerraPower LLC, whose chairman is Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates. The development follows Canada’s SNC-Lavalin, which has agreed to build a new recycled-fuel plant with China National Nuclear Corp. and Shanghai Electric Group, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is working with the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics on a salt-cooled system……..

“The outlook for nuclear power is brighter there than anywhere else in the world,” said M. V. Ramana, a professor at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. “It is not so difficult for a company developing a nuclear reactor design to find a partner.”

The systems proposed belong to the so-called fourth generation of reactors. The current generation under construction include enhanced safety features following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, but still typically use traditional fuel rods, cooled by water under pressure. Both Areva SA and Westinghouse Electric Co. are slated to turn on their current-generation nuclear reactors in the next year in China — well ahead of any other nation, despite delays.

Recycled Fuel

Some Generation IV designs aim to cut construction costs by using coolants that work at atmospheric pressure — reducing the need for massive containment structures. Many recycle their fuel, reducing the need for uranium, and in some cases are fail-safe without intervention if something goes wrong…….

Coolants include liquid sodium, gases and molten metal. Some use thorium instead of uranium to power the reaction.

Still, the theories behind many of the proposed systems aren’t new and often date back to the 1950s and ’60s. Some experimental plants have been built, such as the fast breeder reactors in the U.K. and U.S. Most suffered from crippling cost or design problems or were abandoned after nuclear accidents.

“Most if not all of these so-called advanced reactor designs have been around for decades,” said Ramana at the Liu Institute. “Different designs have different problems. I don’t think anyone can be or should be confident that these problems can be resolved merely by throwing money and hiring engineers and scientists.”

Computer Models

TerraPower’s traveling-wave design is based on research by Saveli Feinberg, a physicist who first proposed it in the 1950s. Levesque says that advancements in computing in the last decade have revolutionized the ability to develop these technologies. “You couldn’t get it near the concept without the computer modeling,” he said.

Yet computers alone won’t prove the technology without a working plant.

“What they really need is to construct research reactors,” said Allison Macfarlane, former head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “And that is really expensive.”………

Areva is not currently working with Chinese teams to develop a fourth generation reactor, spokesman Mathias Schuch said in an email. Westinghouse didn’t respond to requests for comment on next-generation reactors………

“Nuclear can be a difficult industry and it needs to be heavily regulated,” Macfarlane said. “You can make rather a big expensive mess if you don’t get it right. Only one accident will seriously affect the entire industry. There are very few industries like that.”

Developers say the industry is over-regulated. Michael F. Keller, president of Hybrid Power Technologies LLC said the NRC is a “bureaucratic straight jacket” that creates a massive financial burden on the deployment of advanced reactors. “As advanced reactors are generally passively fail-safe, there is no rational reason to apply the grossly overly-complex regulations currently in use,” he said.

The DOE said in a email that it is promoting development of a framework that will increase regulatory certainty for advanced reactors in coordination with the NRC and industry………

September 23, 2017 Posted by | China, technology | Leave a comment

China considers rescuing problematic UK Moorside nuclear station project

China mulls Moorside nuclear rescue deal to deepen roots in UK plants  China’s state-backed nuclear company is hoping to take an equity stake in the troubled £10bn Moorside new nuclear project being developed by debt-hit Toshiba.

The Japanese conglomerate is on the hunt for a project partner to safeguard Europe’s largest planned new nuclear plant after France’s Engie abandoned its support of the venture in the wake of Toshiba’s spiralling financial woes.

China General Nuclear (CGN) confirmed that it is in the running to shore up the 3.8GW project in exchange for an equity share, in a move which would also deepen its stake in the UK’s nuclear ambitions. “We are willing to utilise our experience in nuclear design, construction and operation for more than 30 years to support the development of Britain’s nuclear industry,” CGN confirmed in a statement to Reuters.

CGN joins South Korea’s Kepco which voiced an interest in the project earlier this summer.

The South Korean state-backed utility has harboured an interest in Moorside since 2013, but said it would want to use its own nuclear design rather than one made by Toshiba’s Westinghouse nuclear business.

Westinghouse plunged into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US earlier this year after amassing losses of $9bn (£6.6bn) for Toshiba due to a string of struggling US projects.The deal would hand CGN access to a fourth nuclear project in the UK. It has already teamed up with EDF Energy to finance a third of the Hinkley Point C project and a fifth of its Sizewell B nuclear plans.

 In the future CGN also plans to lead the plans to build the Bradwell C nuclear plant in Essex with a 66pc stake in the venture.

At Moorside CGN is also likely to want to use its own reactor design, in order to prove its mettle to other prospective new markets. However, it will take at least four years before CGN’s reactor design could be approved by the nuclear authority for use in the UK.

A lengthy approval process would also be required of a Kepco reactor design which could derail the 2025 start date by at least two years in a further blow to the UK’s new nuclear ambitions.

EDF admitted earlier this year that the start-up date for Hinkley Point C is likely to be two years later than first thought at 2027 and pile a further €1bn (£870m) to €3bn euros on to the construction costs of the £18bn project.

The delays to new nuclear projects raises questions over the UK’s energy supplies in the middle of the next decade. More than two thirds of the country’s power generation capacity will have retired between 2010 and 2030.

September 22, 2017 Posted by | China, marketing, UK | Leave a comment

China urges USA to find ways other than threats, to deal with North Korea

US must stop North Korea threats, says China, as Kim Jong-un aims for military ‘equilibrium’
Chinese ambassador says America needs to do ‘much more’ to achieve cooperation as Kim Jong-un speaks of goal of equalling US military might,
Guardian, Tom Phillips , 16 Sept The United States must stop threatening North Korea’s leader if a peaceful solution to the nuclear crisis is to be found, China’s ambassador to Washington has said, as Kim Jong-un reiterated his country’s aim to reach military “equilibrium” with the US.

Cui Tiankai told reporters in Washington: “They [the US] should refrain from issuing more threats. They should do more to find effective ways to resume dialogue and negotiation.”

“Honestly, I think the United States should be doing … much more than now, so that there’s real effective international cooperation on this issue.”

North Korea’s state news agency, KCNA on Saturday quoted Kim as saying: “Our final goal is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the US and make the US rulers dare not talk about military option.”

The US warned on Friday it could revert to military options if the latest sanctions fail to curb North Korean missile and nuclear tests, after Pyongyang fired a missile over Japan for the second time in two weeks.

 US national security advisor HR McMaster said: “We have been kicking the can down the road and we’re out of road. For those who have been commenting about the lack of a military option – there is a military option. Now, it’s not what we prefer to do, so what we have to do is call on all nations to do everything we can to address this global problem, short of war.”

Earlier, the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson urged Russia and China to “indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own”.

The Chinese ambassador was speaking after Pyongyang fired a missile over Japan for the second time in two weeks a move the UN security council said it “strongly condemned”.

Speaking in Beijing, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said China opposed the launch but also urged the US to change its tactics towards Pyongyang. “China is not to blame for the escalation of tensions. China does not hold the key to resolving the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, either. Those who tied the knots are responsible for untying [them].”……..

September 18, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international, USA | 1 Comment

USA bombers and Japanese fighter jets drill over East China sea

Japan fighter jets conducted drills with US bombers over East China Sea

Japan fighters conduct an air exercise with US B1-B bombers above the East China Sea as South Korea braces for a possible further missile test by North Korea on its founding anniversary

Minami Funakoshi Tokyo: Japanese F-15 fighter jets on Saturday conducted an air exercise with US B1-B bombers in the skies above the East China Sea, Japan’s air self defence force (ASDF) said.

The joint drill comes as South Korea braces for a possible further missile test by North Korea on its founding anniversary, just days after its sixth and largest nuclear test rattled global financial markets and further escalated tensions in the region.

The exercise involved two US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flying from Andersen air force base on the US Pacific island territory of Guam, which were joined by two Japanese F-15 jet fighters.

On 31 August, Japanese F-15 fighter jets also conducted an air exercise with US B1-B bombers and F-35 stealth fighters in skies south of the Korean peninsula, two days after North Korea launched a ballistic missile over northern Japan. Reuters

September 11, 2017 Posted by | China, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China on alert for radiation seeping from North Korea’s latest nuclear test.

China Worried Over Nuclear Radiation After North Korea Tests, Epoch Times, By NTD Television  | September 10 2017    The Chinese regime is on high alert for radiation seeping into China from North Korea’s latest nuclear test.

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September 11, 2017 Posted by | China, environment, North Korea, weapons and war | 1 Comment

North Korea’s nuclear ramp-up is damaging to China’s ambitions to be major power in Asia

North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal Threatens China’s Path to Power, NYT, SEPT. 5, 2017 “………China has made little secret of its long-term goal to replace the United States as the major power in Asia and assume what it considers its rightful position at the center of the fastest-growing, most dynamic region in the world.

September 6, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

China rethinks nuclear plant on North Korea’s border – has set up solar farm instead

Solar farm may spell end for China’s plan to build nuclear plant on North Korea’s border
Renewable development on site earmarked for reactors raises speculation the authorities have gone cold on the idea,
SCMP,  Stephen Chen Thursday, 31 August, 2017 China has set up a solar farm near the North Korean border on a site previously earmarked for a nuclear power plant, in an apparent sign that the authorities have abandoned plans to build a reactor.

The Baishan solar farm in Jingyu county, Jilin province was recently connected to the local power grid after a three-month construction period plagued with problems.

A farmer living near Baishan reservoir said solar panels had been put up over the past few months and now covered half of a large swathe of elevated land by the lake’s west bank.

The solar plant can generate up to 10 megawatts of power, provincial newspaper Jilin Daily reported in July…….

Authorities had earlier acquired the area south of Gangding village, which was once used for cultivating corn and beans, to build the Jingyu nuclear power station, according to the county government website.

The planned power plant was one of two Chinese nuclear projects proposed near the North Korean border.

Ground-clearing work on the site, meant to house four AP1000 nuclear reactors, was completed in 2013.

The reactors, if built, would have been situated less than 100km north of Chunggang, a North Korean county bordering China across the Yalu river.

Chunggang is home to an intermediate-range ballistic missile base targeting the US military base on the Japanese island of Okinawa, according to

In the border city of Dandong in Liaoning province, construction of the Donggang nuclear power plant has also been put on hold, according to Chinese media reports……..

September 2, 2017 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment