The China National Nuclear Corporation is a state-owned entity founded in 1955. CNNC's president and vice-president are appointed by the Premier of the State Council. However the CNNC is a self-supporting economic corporation, not a government administrative body. It oversees all aspects of China's civilian and military nuclear programs. According to it own mission statement, it "combines military nuclear weapons production with civilian production, taking nuclear industry as the basis while developing nuclear power and promoting a diversified economy." CNNC is a nationwide industrial conglomerate integrating science, technology, industry, and international trade.The CNNC is the successor to the Ministry of Nuclear Industry which built China's first atom bomb, hydrogen bomb and nuclear submarine. It functioned as a government bureau for the national nuclear industry and reported directly to the State Council. It oversaw China's nuclear-related corporations, manufacturers, institutions, research institutes, and plants, including those related to nuclear weapons. It was responsible for the design and operation of nuclear power plants; nuclear fuel production and supply, including the processing of natural uranium, uranium conversion and enrichment, fuel assembly fabrication, spent fuel reprocessing, and nuclear waste disposal. Wikipedia.
News Article | May 3, 2017
This is a series around POWER, a Motherboard 360/VR documentary about nuclear energy. Follow along here. As Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stood alongside Justin Trudeau at Parliament's centre block in September, a quiet confidence was growing in Canada's nuclear industry. The Prime Minister and the Chinese leader were overseeing a signing ceremony between the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Canadian engineering giant, SNC-Lavalin, which owns CANDU technology. The agreement will see two next-generation CANDU nuclear reactors installed about 100 kilometres southwest of Shanghai, and could transform nuclear power. Canada's nuclear industry is on the upswing, partly because of a global push to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The deal with CNNC is part of that. Teams here are developing advanced nuclear technologies that will ideally help wean us off fossil fuels, which is one reason many environmentalists are starting to embrace nuclear. Watch more from Motherboard: Going Nuclear If all goes according to plan, the CANDU reactors slated for the Qinshan nuclear site will be powered by what the industry calls advanced fuels: reprocessed uranium recycled from conventional reactors, and later, the radioactive element thorium, said Justin Hannah, Director of Marketing, Strategy and External Relations for SNC's CANDU division. Only a handful of sites in Europe and Japan are able to reprocess uranium today, and there is no standard on how to reuse it as a fuel, so it's not widely used. Even so, it has the potential to reduce stockpiles of radioactive waste and make countries that use it less dependent on uranium imports. CANDUs could start using thorium, with China's backing, putting the world closer to what proponents call the thorium dream Thorium has its own advantages when compared to uranium: it's about three times more abundant and can provide just as much power, plus it's far less useful for making nuclear weapons, mainly because its fuel cycle doesn't produce plutonium. But thorium is notoriously difficult to mine. Using it as a fuel is also complex, so reactor designs and supply chains aren't readily available. The fact that CANDUs could start using thorium, with China's backing, may put the world closer to what proponents call the thorium dream of safer, cleaner and more abundant nuclear power. China currently has 36 nuclear reactors in operation, another 21 under construction, and wants to double its nuclear power generation by 2021. Most of the existing reactors are conventional pressurized water reactors that run on enriched uranium, but the country is moving aggressively towards advanced reactor designs that can make use of the spent uranium from their current reactors, and the growing stockpiles of thorium that are a byproduct of mining for rare earth elements, a market that China dominates. China has a growing appetite for carbon-free energy, and the government has declared war on pollution from coal-fired power plants, so nuclear makes sense. But Canada's technology could also be of strategic value. "They have the thorium, they have the spent uranium," said Hannah. This country stands to benefit from the agreement with China, too. If we get this joint venture right, "Canada's nuclear industry could be seen as world leaders," said Jerry Hopwood, President of the University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering, a partnership between 12 Canadian universities, government, and Canada's nuclear industry. The new Chinese-Canadian commercial entity is expected to be registered in China by mid-2017, with pre-construction work beginning in 2019 and 2026 targeted for the first AFCR to be operational, said Hannah. Thorium could be in use in the 2030s. As for whether Canada could one day switch to thorium, we've got large, high-quality uranium reserves, so any move to bring a thorium-powered AFCR here will depend on both politics and economics. "There's no strong economic driver for it," argued John Luxat, a nuclear safety expert at McMaster University. "The utilities don't want to switch over, but it's nice to know that we could." After what Hopwood called a lull in Canada's industry in the early 2000s, he believes recent investments and the push for carbon-free power show there's a resurgence in nuclear. The industry got a boost in 2016 from Ontario's support for the refurbishment of the Darlington nuclear plant, and the 2015 plan to extend the life of Bruce Power's nuclear reactors—each project projected to cost about $13 billion. Apart from that, SNC may be building another CANDU reactor in Argentina. Canadian nuclear startups are also chasing new technologies. Terrestrial Energy has plans to build a commercially-viable molten salt reactor (MSR) by the 2020s. Read More: The Plan to Build a Million-Year Nuclear Waste Dump on the Great Lakes Since the concept was first developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s, it's been touted as a safer alternative. Terrestrial's small, modular design is targeted at remote communities and providing carbon-free power directly to heavy industrial installations. The nuclear fuel used in an MSR is liquid, so it can't melt down, and it's chemically bound to the molten salt coolant. That means a loss of coolant, like the one that happened at the Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011, isn't possible, said Canon Bryan, Terrestrial's co-founder. Watch more from Motherboard: The Thorium Dream The molten fuel is highly corrosive, so MSRs still need further development to be proven safe. But the company has garnered nearly $30 million in investment, among other undisclosed grants, and Terrestrial's application to the US government for a $1 billion loan guarantee through its US subsidiary is advancing well, said Bryan. While Terrestrial's MSR design could potentially use thorium fuel in the future, the goal of becoming commercially viable as soon as possible means that the company will be sticking with uranium for now, since it's well-understood by the industry. "The conversation is changing," said Jerry Hopwood. "The fact that Canada is serious about dealing with climate change [has] put nuclear in a good position." 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News Article | November 23, 2016
(Reuters & French news media sources) France moved to buttress its nuclear industry with utility Electricite de France SA (EDF) agreeing to buy the reactor construction business of state-run peer Areva for 2.5 billion euros ($2.7 billion). Areva is behind schedule on projects in France, Finland and China, and the costly delays have raised concerns at EDF as it works with Areva to build two new nuclear plants at Hinkley Point in Britain. The contract signed with EDF clears the way for Areva to raise five billion euros in new capital, largely from the French government. “Today marked a new step in the restructuring of France’s nuclear industry which the government is pursuing with determination,” Economy Minister Michel Sapin said. Areva said in a statement that EDF will buy as much as 75% in Areva NP, as the unit is known, in a deal that values it at €2.5bn ($2.68bn). EDF plans to sell a 24% stake to other investors in the future. The deal excludes a series of potential liabilities related to the nuclear reactor manufacturing unit, such as potential losses related to the construction of the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear plant in Finland and possible losses related to deficient components made at the Le Creusot forging plant in France. Those potential liabilities will remain in Areva. The takeover is part of a French government plan for a €8bn plan to rescue Areva after five years of consecutive losses. The sale to EDF of Areva NP is expected to be final in the second half of 2017 and hinges on the results of tests carried out by the French regulator on the primary circuit of the Flamanville-3 reactor and satisfactory audits at Areva’s Le Creusot, Saint-Marcel and Jeumont forging facilities. Nuclear companies from China, Kazakhstan and Japan are in discussions with Areva about taking stakes in the French reactor builder. According to Reuters, French online news website BFM Business reported that China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom were each set to buy up to an 11% stake in Areva. The three will inject 400 million euros each, BFM reported. It said they would be able to chose board members and that the French government’s stake in Areva would fall to 67% of capital. Neither EDF nor Areva would independently confirm the investment report. EDF Talks on Building Jaitapur Indian Nuclear Plant May Take 3-4 Years (Bloomberg) Electricite de France SA, (EDF) may take another three to four years to complete talks to build six nuclear reactors in India. The project has not broken ground and the environmental permit was rescinded due to delays in starting work at the site. Farmers in the area have mounted protests about concerns their crops would be affected by radiation from the plants due to an accident. Areva signed a preliminary accord in 2009 to build six 1,650 MW reactors at Jaitapur, a coastal town in India’s western province of Maharashtra. The project has been on hold as Areva has also sought clarity on India’s nuclear liability laws. India’s coal interests, and heavy industry firms who want to build domestic PHWRs instead of relying on foreign vendors, have pushed to keep the law’s stringent conditions in place. The coal miners have no interest in seeing nuclear reactors take the place of fossil fuel power stations. When negotiations are complete, Areva will submit a non-binding offer to build six EPR reactors for Nuclear Power Corp. of India (NPCIL) in Jaitapur. The Indian government could finance part of the Jaitapur project alongside other investors. It is not clear how India will fund its share since a separate deal with Westinghouse for six 1150 MW AP1000 reactors hinges on successful export loans from the U.S. The prospects for the loans will depend on a new Congress approving a change to the agency that makes them. A separate dispute over U.S. export loans for commercial aircraft has hobbled the U.S. Export Import bank limiting its lending authority to $10M. Areva ,which is seeking infusions of capital to operate, is in no position to provide India with the upfront financing for 10 GWe of nuclear power costing $48-64 billion. Additional costs would include grid upgrades to get the enormous increase in power to customers across the nation. (Bloomberg) South Africa has delayed plans to build new nuclear power plants over concern about their cost and the lower demand for electricity as economic growth stalls. Under a new timeline, the first nuclear power is expected to come on stream in 2037, with a total 20 GWe of nuclear energy added to the national grid by 2050, according to the “base case” scenario outlined in a presentation on the Department of Energy’s updated Integrated Resources Plan. The proposal also estimates as additional 37 GWe of intermittent power from wind, 18 Gwe daylight power from solar plants, 35 Gwe from gas and 15 Gwe from coal by 2050. “Gas and renewables forms the biggest chunk of installed capacity by 2050,” the Department of Energy said in the presentation. Of all of these estimates, only the gas and coal estimates bear any resemblance to reality. The nuclear estimates are not connected to any coherent plan to finance the reactors. Eskom has been hobbled for years in terms of accumulating capital funding due to the government holding down electricity rates to subsidize power for the nation’s poor and unemployed. Officially, South Africa’s unemployment rate is 25%. The government previously said it wanted to generate 9,600 megawatts of energy from as many as eight reactors that should begin operating from 2023 and be completed by 2029. Price estimates had ranged from $37 billion to $100 billion. Roastom has offered to finance up to 5o% of the costs, but critics of the deal argue the tender should be held in an open and transparent manner to get the best deal. The proposal has also been tarnished by charges of cronyism as the relative of a high level government official has been awarded a program management contract, without competition, to drive planning for the project. While President Jacob Zuma has championed Rosatom’s nuclear program, the Treasury has cautioned that the country is not able to afford new reactors at a time when the economy is not growing and the budget deficit needs to be curbed to fend off a junk credit rating. (NY Times) Eskom wants to buy 9.6 Gwe of nuclear power, but it is unclear whether the nation can afford the price tag or run the procurement without interference from people bent on obtaining benefits from it via corrupt practices. Additionally, South Africa’s grid may not be able to support wheeling that much power to customers. See the full report by the NYT which considers energy issue in South Africa from many perspectives http://nyti.ms/2eUI4aq (Reuters) An Eskom board member implicated in a probe over influence-peddling in the South African government has left his post, the public enterprises department said, days after the state-owned power utility’s chief executive resigned. Eskom CEO Brian Molefe said he would step down in January 2017 after being implicated in the investigation, but denied any wrongdoing. A report by the Public Protector, a constitutionally mandated watchdog, has raised questions over coal deals between Eskom and a company controlled by the wealthy Gupta family, who are friends with President Jacob Zuma. The report called for a judicial inquiry into the allegations of corruption in Zuma’s government. Zuma himself denies granting undue influence to the Gupta brothers who run a business empire ranging from media to mining. (NRC) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is currently seeking comments from the public related to an environmental review of an application from Waste Control Specialists (WCS) to construct and operate a facility to store spent nuclear fuel in Andrews County, Texas. WCS filed its application in April and is seeking a 40-year license for a facility that would receive spent nuclear fuel from reactors for storage pending final disposal. Prior to a decision, the NRC will be conducting two separate reviews, one for environmental impacts and another to identify any safety issues that may arise, to determine whether the facility meets NRC regulatory requirements. The review will be in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act’s requirement to do analysis of environmental impacts for major federal actions. At this time, the NRC has not yet accepted WCS’ application. If the NRC dockets the application, it will announce an opportunity to ask for a public hearing and an date for comments on the scope of the environmental review. “We cannot proceed with the technical safety review until WCS adequately addresses our request for supplemental information, but we do have the information we need to begin the environmental scoping process now,” said Mark Lombard, NRC director of the Division of Spent Fuel Management. (Power Mag)(DOE) The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a request for information to assess the future role of private consolidated interim storage facilities in the agency’s plans for an integrated nuclear waste management system. The DOE wrote that “[Private initiatives], although were not envisioned in the Administration’s Strategy, represent a potentially promising alternative to federal facilities for consolidated interim storage,” the agency said. The request for information seeks input on questions such as how private initiatives, as part of an overall integrated nuclear waste management system, would provide a “workable solution” for interim storage of spent nuclear waste and high-level waste. It also questions what benefits or drawbacks such initiatives offer, compared to a federally financed capital project for a government-owned contractor-operated interim storage facility, which business models those initiatives would pursue, and how they would manage liabilities during the storage period. It is unclear why DOE thinks that the new Congress would go along with the agency having the lead role in managing an interim storage site. The DOE’s request comes just days after Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told attendees at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event that inaction on spent fuel management posed a “significant headwind for many decisions in the nuclear space.” At least two private sector players have proposed interim storage solutions to date. In April 2016, Waste Control Specialists LLC, with support from AREVA, submitted a license application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a consolidated interim storage facility in Andrews County, Texas. Holtec International is also gearing up to submit safety documentation to the federal nuclear agency for a proposed consolidated interim storage facility in Southeast New Mexico. US Needs Long-Term Commitment To Nuclear Research (NucNet) A long-term commitment to research is needed if nuclear energy is to remain a part of the energy mix, according to expert witnesses at a US Senate hearing this week. “If you do not take a major initiative now, it is inevitable that in 2030 the country will not have a nuclear [energy] option,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology Institute Professor John Deutch told the hearing, according to the Washington-based Nuclear Energy Institute. “If the country is going to have a nuclear [energy] option in 2030, it must undertake an initiative of the scope and size that this committee described,” Prof. Deutch said. “Any such initiative is going to require time, considerable federal resources, redesign of electricity markets, and sustained and skilled management.” A report prepared by a US Department of Energy task force headed by Prof. Deutch sees four phases in which various advanced reactor designs – including both small modular and large reactor designs – are selected, developed and demonstrated over the coming decades. The report estimates that such a program would require about 25 years and $11.5bn (€18.8bn). In addition to this long-term plan, the task force said that preserving existing nuclear plants is essential to meet US carbon reduction goals. The report is online: http://bit.ly/2fLBGPA New Mayor in Niigata Willing to Restart Reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa (ASAHI SHIMBUN) An independent candidate who has called for a conditional restart of one of the world’ largest nuclear plants was elected mayor of this coastal city in northwestern Japan on Nov. 20. Masahiro Sakurai, 54, gained 30,220 votes, compared with 16,459 for Eiko Takeuchi, 47, who opposed a resumption of operations at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant. Sakurai’s victory could lead to a showdown with Niigata Governor Ryuichi Yoneyama over the nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Yoneyama, who won the governor’s election in October, has taken a tough stance against restarting the nuclear plant. The plant’s site covers part of Kashiwazaki and the neighboring village of Kariwa. All seven of the plant’s reactors have remained idle over the past few years. “I will gradually but surely reduce the number of reactors in the nuclear power plant,” Sakurai told reporters after the election. “But I recognize the value of resuming operations.” Takeuchi, who was backed by the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party, was against restarting reactors there. TEPCO, operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, is eager to restart reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant. During the election campaign, Sakurai said he would “approve a restart of the halted nuclear plant if safety is confirmed and certain conditions are fulfilled.”
News Article | January 18, 2016
The big news is that two Chinese state owned nuclear firms have announced plans to build floating nuclear power plants in the 100-300 MW range. (WNA) A demonstration floating nuclear power plant based on China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNC’s) ACP100S small reactor will be built by 2019. The move comes just days after China General Nuclear (CGN) said it will build a prototype offshore plant by 2020. CGN announced (next story) on 12 January that development of its ACPR50S reactor design had recently been approved by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) as part of the 13th Five-Year Plan for innovative energy technologies. CNNC said that its ACP100S reactor – a marine version of its ACP100 small modular reactor (SMR) design – had also been approved by the NDRC as part of the same plan. CNNC said its Nuclear Power Institute of China subsidiary had completed a preliminary design for a floating nuclear power plant featuring the ACP100S reactor as well as “all the scientific research work.” Construction of a demonstration unit is to start by the end of this year, with completion set for 2019. (WNA) China General Nuclear (CGN) expects to complete construction of a demonstration small modular offshore multi-purpose reactor by 2020. CGN said development of its ACPR50S reactor design had recently been approved by China’s National Development and Reform Commission as part of the 13th Five-Year Plan for innovative energy technologies. The company said it is currently carrying out preliminary design work for a demonstration ACPR50S project. Construction of the first floating reactor is expected to start next year with electricity generation to begin in 2020. The 60 MWe reactor has been developed for the supply of electricity, heat and desalination and could be used on islands or in coastal areas, or for offshore oil and gas exploration, according to CGN. The Chinese company said it is also working on the ACPR100 small reactor for use on land. This reactor will have an output of some 450 MWt (140 MWe) and would be suitable for providing power to large-scale industrial parks or to remote mountainous areas. CGN said the development of small-scale offshore and onshore nuclear power reactors will complement its large-scale plants and provide more diverse energy options. (WNA) A US House of Representatives committee has approved a bipartisan bill to support federal research and development (R&D) and stimulate private investment in advanced nuclear reactor technologies. The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology approved the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act. The bill was introduced by energy subcommittee chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas), along with full committee ranking member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) and chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). The legislation directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to set priorities for federal R&D infrastructure that will enable the private sector to invest in advanced reactor technologies and provide a clear path forward to attract private investment for prototype development at DOE laboratories. It enables the private sector to partner with national laboratories for the purpose of developing novel reactor concepts, leverages DOE’s supercomputing infrastructure to accelerate nuclear energy R&D, and provides statutory direction for a DOE reactor-based fast neutron source that will operate as an open-access user facility. It also authorizes DOE to enable the private sector to construct and operate privately-funded reactor prototypes at DOE sites. In addition, the bill requires DOE to present a transparent, strategic, ten-year plan for prioritizing nuclear R&D programs. (NucNet) The global nuclear security system still has “major gaps” that prevent it from being truly comprehensive and effective, the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative says in its 2016 Index. The index, which assesses nuclear materials security conditions in 24 countries with one kilogramme or more of weapons-usable nuclear materials, says there is no common set of international standards and best practices, there is no mechanism for holding states with lax security accountable, and the legal foundation for securing nuclear materials is neither complete nor universally observed. In addition to assessing the risks posed by vulnerable nuclear materials and insufficient security policies in states that don’t have materials, the index assesses for the first time the potential risks to nuclear facilities posed by sabotage and cyberattack. It says cyberattacks are increasing and a growing number of states are exploring nuclear energy even though they lack the legal, regulatory, and security frameworks to ensure that their facilities are secure as well as safe. (NucNet) Westinghouse Electric Company’s Springfields facility in the UK has reached the requirements necessary to manufacture Westinghouse small modular reactor (SMR) fuel, Westinghouse said. This milestone is “a key first” for the UK’s SMR programme and an important part of Westinghouse’s proposed partnership with the UK government to deploy SMR technology. Westinghouse Springfields achieved the milestone following a readiness assessment based upon fabrication data for two proprietary SMR fuel assemblies manufactured at the company’s Columbia fuel fabrication facility in the US state of South Carolina. Mick Gornall, managing director of Westinghouse Springfields, said manufacturing Westinghouse SMR fuel at Springfields will “secure the future of a strategic national asset” of nuclear fuel manufacturing capability. (WNA) The first of four reactor coolant pumps for the initial AP1000 unit at the Haiyang site in China’s Shandong province has been transported by road from Curtiss-Wright’s manufacturing facility in Cheswick, Pennsylvania, to the port of Philadelphia ahead of shipment to China, State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation announced yesterday. The first two such pumps for Sanmen 1 in Zhejiang province – expected in September to be the first AP1000 to start up – arrived on the site on 30 December. (NucNet) Testing of the instrumentation and control (I&C) systems has begun at Teollisuuden Voima’s (TVO) Olkiluoto-3 nuclear plant with an application for an operating licence likely to be submitted in April, TVO said. The I&C systems will be used for operating, monitoring and controlling the 1,600-MW EPR unit. In December 2015 TVO said system commissioning of the plant is expected to begin in the spring of 2016 with regular electricity generation beginning in “more than three years. TVO said the estimated schedule came from plant supplier Areva-Siemens. Commissioning of the plant is about nine years behind schedule and costs are almost three times over budget. Market Reform Essential For Nuclear In US, Says NEI (NucNet) Market reform is essential to ensure that the reliability, environmental and economic benefits of nuclear power are not taken for granted, and that reactor operators are compensated for these attributes in the same way as other low-carbon sources, Alex Flint, the Washington-based Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice-president for governmental affairs, said in an interview published on the NEI’s website. Mr Flint said there has been “movement to address the issue”. He said at the national level, the NEI is working with the Edison Electric Institute and the Electric Power Supply Association to make officials at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency aware of the potential challenges to grid reliability and the administration’s clean air goals. In 2015, FERC and a number of regional transmission organizations took significant steps to address flaws in electricity markets that fail to provide the price signals needed to support investment in new or existing nuclear power plants. Mr Flint said, “Urged on by the NEI and a number of energy associations, FERC has begun a rulemaking to address price suppression and promises to address other issues in future. In an encouraging sign, Exelon Corporation cited positive regional reforms in deferring decisions on the potential closing of its Clinton nuclear station in Illinois and the Ginna nuclear station in New York.” Late last year Entergy Corporation said it would close its Pilgrim-1 and Fitzpatrick reactors because of poor economic conditions for nuclear.
News Article | September 6, 2016
This week Theresa May will travel all the way to China to find out. At the G20 meeting China will press her to approve the Hinkley Point nuclear plant. Here’s a roundup of press coverage of the high wire diplomacy expected to take place. (Guardian) As UK PM Theresa May prepares to meet her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 summit, officials there have reportedly raised the issue of delayed Hinkley point nuclear power station. May is expected to come under pressure from China at the G20 summit over her decision to review the proposed Hinkley nuclear plant. 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 unusually forceful and undiplomatic in making its clear it wants the project to go ahead. 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.” (Times of London) UK Prime Minister Theresa May is reportedly considering a proposal to detach development of the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant from an agreement allowing China to build a nuclear reactor in Essex. One option under consideration is to approve Hinkley, but delay a decision on the Bradwell reactor to allow a discussion about its effect on British security. Critics of the plan point to an American case of alleged economic espionage involving China General Nuclear (CGN) .A US nuclear engineer is facing charges he provided nuclear fuel information and reactor performance data to CGN without the necessary government approval. The split in the agreement over UK reactors could put the entire deal involving three power stations in jeopardy since the Chinese investors see in the Bradwell plant an opportunity to showcase its domestic nuclear technology in Europe. China has started construction of two Hualong One reactors at in Fujian province. While it also has an MOU in place to build one in Argentina, the UK deal offers China its best chance to make the case for its reactor design with western industrialized countries. No UK decision expected on Chinese-backed nuclear plan as PM May heads to China (Reuters) Prime Minister Theresa May will not announce her keenly awaited decision on a partly-Chinese funded nuclear power project in the coming days, a British official said as May flew to China to meet President Xi Jinping at her first G20 summit. But despite scheduling a 30-minute meeting with Xi on Monday to discuss the two countries’ future ties, May will stop short of sanctioning a Chinese-backed $24-billion plan for French firm EDF to build a nuclear power plant in southern England. “We have said we’ll make a decision this month, that remains the plan. I don’t expect one in the next few days,” the official told reporters ahead of the visit Critics of Hinkley Point C missing ‘The Bigger Picture’ says, EDF Energy CEO (NucNet) Critics of the Hinkley Point nuclear station project in southwest England are at risk of “losing sight of the bigger picture” by failing to see the “positive impact and importance “ of the investment for the UK, EDF Energy chief executive officer Vincent de Rivaz said this week in an open letter published on the company’s website. The plan to build the two EPR units for £18bn (€21bn, $24bn) at Hinkley Point was hit with an unexpected delay in July as the new UK government decided to hold another review only hours after EDF – the project’s state-owned French developer – had given it the go-ahead. Separately, members of EDF’s board filed a protest that de Rivaz knew about the delay before the board meeting, but pushed for approval of the plan anyway. China General Nuclear Power Generation (CGN) has a one-third stake in the project while the French side holds the rest. Mr de Rivaz wrote that China’s participation “is much more” than £6bn of investment as it brings the benefits of a partnership between EDF and CGN in nuclear construction in China. EDF is nearing completion of two Areva EPRs in China. He wrote that the cost of Hinkley Point’s electricity should be compared with future energy prices and not those of today. Hinkley Point will be competitive with all future energy options, including fossil fuels, when the cost of carbon is taken into account. Mr de Rivaz dismissed near term prospects for the potential use of small modular reactor (SMR) technology in the UK. He wrote that they are still surrounded by a number of future political and regulatory uncertainties and “we can’t afford to cross our fingers and muddle through in the hope that a new technology will meet all our needs at the right price.” EDF sees Britain taking £6bn Hinkley stake Government under pressure to step in to avoid ‘disaster’ if Chinese pull out of project (Financial Times) EDF executives say the British government could have to take a stake of up to £6bn in the Hinkley Point nuclear power station to avoid a “disaster” if the Chinese decide to withdraw from the project. Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the UK, has warned that stalling the nuclear project could jeopardise relations between the two countries. The UK government has not set out a fallback option if the Chinese refuse to separate the Bradwell project from the overall deal and abandon their proposed investments in Britain. In public, Beijing remains committed to the deal. However, there has been growing speculation in the nuclear industry that May is prepared to invest billions of pounds into Hinkley Point if it becomes necessary. “If the Chinese pull out, the UK government itself will raise the money,” said one industry source. One senior EDF figure said: “If the Chinese pull out, there is no way that EDF will be able to pay for the rest itself. We would need the British or someone else to step in.” The idea of the UK government taking stakes in new nuclear power stations was raised this week by the new boss of Horizon, the Hitachi-owned consortium that plans to build stations at Wylfa, on Anglesey, and Oldbury-on-Severn, in Gloucestershire. Duncan Hawthorne, chief executive of Horizon, said Hitachi could seek an equity stake from the British and Japanese governments. Hitachi could even end up merely as a contractor to Whitehall, Mr Hawthorne told the Sunday Times. France said to see Hinkley unraveling as U.K. reconsiders (Bloomberg) French President Francois Hollande’s government is concerned that discussions on the sidelines of the Group of 20 talks in China will sound the death knell for the Hinkley Point nuclear power project in the U.K. UK PM May is bracing for tense diplomacy over the issue and is attempting to foster confidence that Britain remains open for business despite its decisions to leave the European Union and delay Hinkley Point. Central to the debate are Hinkley’s growing costs and security issues related to China’s involvement in a strategic industry. In China, authorities see Hinkley as the start of a series of atomic projects in the U.K. that will serve as a showcase for future exports. May “has upset the Chinese and the French,” said Steve Thomas, professor of energy policy at the University of Greenwich, London. “She could have dealt with this in a better way by saying she would review all major public spending, not just Hinkley.” For France, Hinkley Point is “an exceptional opportunity,” Finance and Industry Minister Michel Sapin said at a press conference. The British government needs to “face its responsibilities” on deciding to proceed, he added. It would underpin the country’s nuclear-engineering industry with its many thousands of well-paid, skilled jobs. Even within the French administration, the project received another blow this week when one of its key backers, Emmanuel Macron, resigned as economy and industry minister. Sapin has now taken over Macron’s responsibilities. China has warned pulling the plug on Hinkley would damage its relationship with Britain. “No country can develop by itself behind closed doors,” Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador in London, wrote in a column in the China Daily. “I hope that Britain will continue to be pragmatic and stay open to Chinese businesses.” Key French backer of Hinkley Point will run for President (NY Times) France’s pro-business economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, who supports the Hinkley Point project, has resigned from the Socialist government, clearing a path for him to possibly challenge an embattled President François Hollande in elections next year. His resignation has been anticipated for months. For Hollande’s part, he faces record lows in public approval ratings. Unlike Hollande, who has called for a 25% reduction in French dependence on nuclear energy, Marcon has been a strong supporter of the nation’s use of the technology and its expansion via exports for projects like Hinkley Point. Mr. Macron, 38, a former investment banker, was the face of a right leaning, free-market tilt by Mr. Hollande’s government. He infuriated France’s unions with his frank talk of opening up the country’s rigid economy, loosening job protections, and even rolling back the 35-hour workweek. (NucNet) First concrete pouring for the nuclear island for Unit 6 at the Fuqing nuclear station in Fujian province has started, the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said. The event marks the beginning of the main construction phase for the reactor unit. Fuqing-6 will be of the domestic Generation-III design, also known as “Hualong One.” There are six units at the Fuqing site – two in commercial operation and four under construction. Units 5 and 6 are of the Hualong One design.
News Article | March 11, 2016
A nuclear power plant station model by China National Nuclear Corporation is pictured at the World Nuclear Exhibition 2014, the trade fair event for the global nuclear energy sector, in Le Bourget, near Paris October 14, 2014. Beijing, which began stockpiling uranium in 2007 and is estimated by the World Nuclear Association to have 74,000 tons of inventory - or about nine years of current demand - does not disclose details of its reserves. However, demand is expected to outstrip domestic supply in coming years and a move to increase reserves could give a boost to depressed global prices. "We have been importing over the last few years when the price has been low," said Sun Qin, chairman of the state-owned nuclear project developer, the China National Nuclear Corporation, adding the time was right to build up stockpiles. In its five-year plan released this week, the government said it would "expand the scale of natural uranium reserves", likely signaling the construction of new storage facilities as with oil six years ago. The Shanghai Nuclear Power Office estimates China's natural uranium demand is likely to reach 11,000 tons by 2020, and rise to 24,000 tons in 2030, outstripping production from domestic mines and China-owned mines overseas. The shortfall was expected to rise from 2,600 tons in 2020 to about 10,900 tons a decade later, it said. Increased uranium stockpiles would ensure China would not be at the mercy of supply disruptions or short-term fluctuations in market prices. The latest five-year plan also confirmed the country's intention to double its nuclear generation capacity to 58 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2020, up from 28.3 GW at the end of last year, slightly less than 2 pct of total generation capacity. To meet the target, China, which currently has 30 operating reactors, will need to build around six new reactors a year, although it is expected to build well over 100 new units by 2030 as it tries to ease its dependence on fossil fuels and create a nuclear energy industry capable of competing globally. The 58 GW target will raise China's uranium demand to about 15 percent of the global market, according to the World Nuclear Association. Uranium prices have fallen to around $31 a pound, less than a quarter of the levels seen in 2007 when China first began stockpiling. "It's at least a short-term positive for uranium prices," said Simon Tonkin, an analyst for Patersons Securities in Perth, of the latest plan. "But longer term, it could mean they are not going to be buying as much. By building up the stockpile now, they are getting uranium at a cheap price." Sun said prices have been hit by the closure of plants in Europe and the United States following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the collapse in oil prices. Cheap prices had enabled China to buy up mining assets, but they also discouraged exploration. "We are exploring for uranium resources in Africa, in Namibia and in Mongolia, but with the price too low, there's no way of exploiting them," he said. Sun would not disclose the size of his firm's corporate reserves or total national reserves. Li Ning, dean of the School of Energy Research under Xiamen University and an expert in nuclear power, said it made sense to import more uranium but domestic supplies were also substantial. "China has large enough verified deposits, higher than we originally expected. Fuel use is small in a plant ... so [increased demand] won't impact the price since the market is oversupplied," he said.
News Article | April 19, 2016
The charges against a U.S. citizen come, strangely, just as the Department of Energy is collaborating with China on advanced reactors. In a case that sounds like the plot of an espionage novel, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in China was indicted last week on charges of illegally sharing information on commercial nuclear reactors with a major Chinese nuclear power company. The nuclear engineer, Szuhsiung “Allen” Ho, recruited a ring of nuclear engineers—unnamed in the indictment—to “unlawfully engage and participate in the production and development of special nuclear material outside the United States” and to help develop China General Nuclear Power Company’s ACPR-100, a small modular reactor design, and provide computer codes for modeling reactor operations. The engineers, one of whom was a senior manager at the Tennessee Valley Authority, were paid by China General, through Ho, according to the indictment, but it is not clear whether they understood that Ho was breaking the law. The charges come just two weeks after the White House hosted a summit on nuclear security that was attended by Chinese head of state Xi Jinping. “Budget is no issue,” Ho wrote to one of the engineers in an e-mail quoted in the indictment. China General Nuclear Power is also charged, along with Ho, with violating the Atomic Energy Act. The illegal technology transfers allegedly went on for nearly two decades. Many of the details of this extraordinary case, including just how the U.S. Department of Justice plans to prosecute a Chinese company, are not yet clear. Two aspects, however, are worth highlighting. First, as Bloomberg points out, China General is a state-owned corporation and a key player in China’s drive to become a leading supplier of nuclear reactors and components around the world. China General recently established a joint venture with China National Nuclear Corporation, another state-owned enterprise, to build at least 30 Hualong One reactors, a home-grown design, in Asia and Europe. Secondly, the charges against Ho and China General come even as the U.S. Department of Energy is actively collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Science on advanced reactor designs. Ho’s activities were unauthorized and, as such, illegal. But it’s important to note that even as the U.S. government is prosecuting a citizen for conspiring to “secure an advantage to the People’s Republic of China,” another federal agency is helping China’s nuclear power R&D program.
News Article | March 9, 2016
"We are forecasting that if everything goes smoothly, the first unit will go into operation in June 2017, and the second unit at the end of 2017," said Sun Qin, the chairman of the China National Nuclear Corporation, speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the annual session of parliament. "Construction has been delayed three years. At first we planned on December 2013 but there was just no way, with key pieces of equipment not available," he said. The "third-generation" reactor, designed by the U.S.-based Westinghouse, has been plagued by delays brought about by design flaws and problems with key components. Sun said new coolant pumps for the two reactor units only arrived at the end of last year. A rival third-generation design, the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), has faced similar problems, with projects in France, Finland and China all delayed. But Sun said he was hopeful that China's own third-generation model, known as the Hualong 1, will progress more smoothly. China's first Hualong unit is under construction at Fuqing in southeast China's Fujian province and is expected to be completed by around June 2020, he said. China has also started construction on an identical Hualong 1 unit in Pakistan and is waiting on Argentina to ratify another Hualong 1 deal. CNNC's rival, China General Nuclear, signed a deal with France's EDF to take a 6 billion pound ($8.5 billion) stake in a project to build two EPRs at Hinkley Point in Britain last year, with the understanding that a third unit would be a Hualong 1 and the state-owned French firm would help China gain approval for the model in Britain. Sun said that he remained confident about the construction of the 18 billion pound project, despite financing problems facing EDF, but Britain's first Hualong 1 would face delays. China is in the middle of an ambitious nuclear reactor building program at home and aims to have completed 58 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity with another 30 GW under construction by the end of 2020. "Looking at it now, with approvals stopped for around three years after Fukushima, we should have around 53 gigawatts in operation by 2020 with 38 to 40 gigawatts under construction, so the overall target should be no problem," Sun said. China's total nuclear capacity reached 28.3 GW by the end of 2015, with 30 units in operation and another 24 under construction, the government said in January.
News Article | February 21, 2017
New AREVA[i] (Paris:AREVA) et son partenaire chinois China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) ont signé aujourd’hui à Pékin, en présence du Premier ministre de la République populaire de Chine, M. Li Keqiang, et du Premier ministre de la République française, M. Bernard Cazeneuve, un accord-cadre de coopération industrielle et commerciale. Aboutissement de la coopération historique entre AREVA et CNNC, ce contrat porte sur les activités du cycle du combustible nucléaire. Il conforte les négociations industrielles en cours entre New AREVA et CNNC (notamment le projet commercial d’une usine de retraitement-recyclage) et ouvre la voie à de nouveaux débouchés industriels et commerciaux entre les deux pays. New AREVA valorise les matières nucléaires afin qu’elles contribuent au développement de la société, en premier lieu dans le domaine de l’énergie. Le groupe propose des produits, technologies et services à forte valeur ajoutée sur l’ensemble du cycle du combustible nucléaire qui couvre les activités mines, chimie de l’uranium, enrichissement, recyclage des combustibles usés, logistique, démantèlement et ingénierie. New AREVA et ses 20 000 collaborateurs mettent leur expertise, leur maîtrise des technologies de pointe, leur recherche permanente d’innovation et leur exigence absolue en matière de sûreté et de sécurité au service de leurs clients en France et à l’international.
News Article | February 21, 2017
New AREVA1 (Paris:AREVA) and its Chinese partner China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) signed today in Beijing, in the presence of the Prime Minister of People's Republic of China, Mr. Li Keqiang, and the Prime Minister of the French Republic, Mr. Bernard Cazeneuve, a framework agreement for an industrial & commercial cooperation. Fruit of the long-standing cooperation between AREVA and CNNC this agreement covers the nuclear fuel cycle activities. It supports the on-going industrial negotiations between New AREVA and CNNC (Chinese commercial reprocessing-recycling plant project in particular) and opens up new industrial and commercial opportunities for both sides. This agreement is a key step in the deepening of the civil nuclear energy cooperation between France and China, and aligns with the expectations set by the two governments in their Joint Statement on Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation of June 30, 2015. Meanwhile the capital of New AREVA remains open for an investment of CNNC within the same framework as the agreements currently being finalized with two investors. MORE ABOUT NEW AREVA New AREVA transforms nuclear materials so that they can be used to support the development of society, first and foremost in the field of energy. The group offers products, technologies and services with high added value throughout the entire nuclear fuel cycle, with activities encompassing mining, uranium chemistry, enrichment, used fuel recycling, logistics, dismantling and engineering. New AREVA and its 20,000 employees bring to bear their expertise and their mastery of cutting-edge technology, as well as their permanent search for innovation and their unwavering dedication to safety, to serve their customers in France and abroad. 1 Entity bringing together all of AREVA's nuclear fuel cycle activities
News Article | February 15, 2017
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 15, 2017) - GoviEx Uranium Inc. (TSX VENTURE:GXU) ("GoviEx" or "Company") is pleased to announce it has engaged Houlihan Lokey EMEA, LLP as financial advisor to assist the Company with the securing of potential long-term off-take agreements in relation to its Madaouela Uranium Project ("the Madaouela Project") in Niger. "We believe there is potential for a substantial wave of new contracting for long-term uranium supply to commence in response to growing demand for carbon-free nuclear energy and the existence of uncovered utility requirements," commented Govind Friedland, Executive Chairman of GoviEx. "In the past two months, the spot price of uranium has risen by more than 40%." "We also expect long-term contract prices to rise to a point where floor-price-based off-take agreements will provide good economics for our Madaouela Project(1). We look forward to working with the Houlihan Lokey team in this regard as we continue to move towards the planned development of the Company's fully-permitted Madaouela Project." The engagement of Houlihan Lokey represents part of an integrated four-part strategy developed by the Company to advance the Madaouela Project, and follows the previously announced appointment of Medea Capital Partners Ltd. as a project debt advisor. The four-part strategy, working towards a production decision, includes: The Houlihan Lokey team has considerable experience in the uranium and nuclear energy sectors, having worked with companies such as Paladin Energy, Électricité de France S.A. (EDF), AREVA, Kazatomprom and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), over the past 10 years. GoviEx is a mineral resource company focused on the exploration and development of uranium properties. GoviEx's principal objective is to become a significant uranium producer through the continued exploration and development of its Mine Permitted Madaouela Project and its other uranium properties in Africa. Houlihan Lokey is a global investment bank with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial restructuring, valuation, and strategic consulting. The firm serves corporations, institutions, and governments worldwide with offices in the United States, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. This press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. All information and statements other than statements of current or historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors disclosed here and elsewhere in GoviEx's periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators. When used in this news release, words such as "will", "could", "plan", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "may", "potential", "should," and similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. Information provided in this document is necessarily summarized and may not contain all available material information. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the potential for a substantial wave of new contracting for long-term uranium supply to commence in response to growing demand for carbon-free nuclear energy and the existence of uncovered utility requirements, GoviEx's expectations for long-term contract prices to rise to a point where floor-price-based off-take agreements will provide good economics for our Madaouela Project, the potential for GoviEx to enter into off-take agreements, the planned integrated four-part strategy working towards a production decision for the development of the Madaouela Project and other statements that are not facts. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by management based on the business and markets in which GoviEx operates, are inherently subject to significant operational, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Assumptions upon which forward looking statements have been made include that there will continue to be growing demand for carbon-free nuclear energy and the existence of uncovered utility requirements that may result in a substantial wave of new contracting for long-term uranium supply to commence, long-term contract prices will rise to a point where floor-price-based off-take agreements will provide good economics for the Madaouela Project, GoviEx will be able to secure one or more long-term off-take agreements for its Madaouela Project with the help of Houlihan Lokey and that the securing of such long-term off-take agreements will meet one part of GoviEx's integrated four-part strategy to advance the Madaouela Project towards a production decision. In addition, the factors described or referred to in the section entitled "Financial Risks and Management Objectives" in the MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2015, of GoviEx, which is available on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com, should be reviewed in conjunction with the information found in this news release. Although GoviEx has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including if there is no increased demand or a reduced demand for carbon-free nuclear energy and less than expected uncovered utility requirements, long-term contract prices do not rise or fall, the parties are unable to secure long-term off-take agreements as anticipated or at all, the failure to meet the targeted timelines of GoviEx's integrated four-part strategy that is anticipated to allow GoviEx to be in a position to make production decision, if any. There can be other factors that cause results, performance or achievements not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate or that management's expectations or estimates of future developments, circumstances or results will materialize. As a result of these risks and uncertainties, the appointment of Houlihan Lokey could be modified, restricted or terminated, and the results or events predicted in these forward-looking statements may differ materially from actual results or events. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this news release are made as of the date of this news release, and GoviEx disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise such information, except as required by applicable law, and GoviEx assumes no any liability for disclosure relating to the other company herein. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.