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China’s 13th five-year plan on the development of energy industry – Key highlights

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

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On 7th November 2016, the National Energy Administration (NEA) held a press conference elaborating the China’s 13th five-year plan on the development of energy industry. The 13th five-year is a challenge-opportunity for the energy industry of China.

The government set up 5 main directions about the future development of the industry:

  • Intelligentizing of power system
  • Sufficient supply
  • Internationalization of the industry
  • Reducing pollution
  • Marketization of the industry

The NEA announced that by 2020, the total installed capacity of the electricity will be reached 2,000 GWe with 5.5% of growth every year for a sufficient supply.

As for nuclear energy, it will comprise 3% of the total installed capacity, which will be 58 million kilowatts of nuclear electricity in 2020. This number remains the same as it was mentioned the first time in 2015. Unlike the target of wind power which was raised from 20 GWe to 21 GWe, there has not been a new nuclear project being approved by the government recently. The only word that NEA used to describe the development of the nuclear energy is safety. This could be an indication that the central government is becoming more conservative on nuclear energy.

The AP1000 at Sanmen Nuclear Power Plant and Haiyang Nuclear Power Plant, Hualong One at Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant and Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Plant will be very important project to be constructed by 2020. Besides, it is also important to commence the construction of CAP1400 demonstration reactors in the near future.

As for the different type of reactors, the construction of EPR in Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and CANDU in Qinshan Phase III were not mentioned specifically by NEA, which means there may not be more EPR or CANDU reactor to be built in China. As for China’s self-designed technology, it is strongly believed that Hualong One and CAP1400 will be the focus in the future. As for the new technology like HTR, the government might think it is still a little bit early to have a specific plan on it.

NEA maintain their attitude towards the inland nuclear site. However, the spokesman clarified that more work needed to be done “to deeply study the feasibility of an inland nuclear project”. This indicates the strong possibility of China’s first inland nuclear power plant will be constructed during the next five year plan.

Having evaluated the report from NEA, I personally believe that China is still paying high attention on the nuclear industry development. Although there is no new approved nuclear sites in China, China is still the largest nuclear new build market and it will lead the development of the global nuclear industry in the next few years.

What do you think?

The 5th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform will take place 16-18 May in Shanghai, China. It will be an excellent opportunity to obtain first hand insights on China’s nuclear industry and establish strategic business relationships with key stakeholders.. For more details, please contact: jeremy@industry-platform.com

What is the Potential of the Nuclear Industry in the Middle East?

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

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Recently, as a part of their sustainable developing strategy, many middle-eastern countries show the interest in the nuclear energy as a supplement of their power generation.

Iran started using the nuclear energy to produce the electricity ever since 1970s. However, its nuclear project in Bushehr province of which the construction started in 1974 was destroyed by Iraqi’s air strikes during the war while it was half completed. After that Iran and Russia signed contract and a new VVER reactor was rebuilt and it started operation in 2013.

Another Middle Eastern country interests in the nuclear energy is UAE. The Barakah nuclear power plant is a $20 Billion project from a South Korea consortium to build 4 reactors with total outputs 5.6GWe.

Why Nuclear Energy is needed in the Middle East?

In December 2006, six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, and Oman) announced that the Council was commissioning a study on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. After the announcement, France and Iran agreed to work with them and pledged assistance with nuclear technology. In February 2007, the six countries agreed with the IAEA to cooperate on a feasibility study for a regional nuclear power and desalination program. Saudi Arabia was leading the investigation and this program emerged in 2009. In the past, the Gulf countries were heavily relying on their oil-economy. Developing nuclear energy is one of the solution to diversify its energy structure which will be good for their economy.

Countries like Jordan, imports over 95% of its energy needs, at a cost of about one fifth of its GDP. Jordan’s Committee for Nuclear Strategy was set up in 2007, set out a program for nuclear power to provide 30% of electricity by 2030.

What is the Current Status and the Future of the Nuclear Industry Development in the Middle East?

UAE is ahead of building the first Arab nuclear power plant. The first unit of Barakah nuclear project is expected to start generating electricity in 2017, another three units will also start their operation in 2020. The Barakah nuclear power plant will provide totally 25% of UAE’s electricity needs.

Saudi Arabia is the main electricity producer and consumer in the Gulf area and the biggest potential nuclear market in the Middle East. The demand of electricity in Saudi Arabia is growing 8% per year. In 2013, KA-CARE announced that 17GWe of nuclear capacity will be constructed in Saudi Arabia by 2032, which will take 15% of the country’s total energy demands. The first reactor in Saudi Arabia is expected to be operating in 2022.

Jordan is another country being active in the nuclear industry. A deal was signed with Rosatom in 2013 that 2 AES-92 units will be built by Rosatom in Jordan by 2023. This project will cost $10 billion and Russia contributes 49.9% of it.

The nuclear industry is growing rapidly in this region and the Middle Eastern countries are also actively engaging in the global cooperation. Although most of them are playing the role as a buyer, several cooperative agreements were signed with USA, France, UK, China, and Russia to absorbing the technology. That in another 20 years, the Middle Eastern will be another mature nuclear market.

What’s your comments on the nuclear industry in Middle East?

The nuclear industry in Middle Eastern will be discussed as it is one of the most important new build market in Asia and in the world during the 5th Asia Nuclear Business Platform, which will take place 16-18 May in Shanghai. For more information please contact: jeremy@industry-platform.com

Why Cyber Security is Important for the Nuclear Industry

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

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While designing a nuclear power plant, the safety of the power site contains two types of it, protecting the power plant from the natural disasters such as earthquake and tsunami, and also from a man-made attack. Recently, the Chairman of IAEA Yukiya Amano cited that nuclear power plants have been targeted by hackers ever since three years ago. Just as many other industrial control system, the cyber-controlling system at nuclear power plant is very easy to be the attack target. David-Besse Nuclear Power Plant in Ohio and Brown Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in Alabama were both affected by internet virus before. The nuclear energy industry began addressing cyber security more comprehensively after previous terrorist attacks.

The most effective way is to isolate the security system at nuclear energy facilities from the internet. Isolated key control systems using either air gaps, which do not implement any network or internet connectivity, or installed robust hardware-based isolation devices that separate front-office computers from the control system, thus making the front-office computers useless for attacking essential systems. As a result, key safety, security and power generation equipment at the plants are protected from any network-based cyber attacks originating outside the plant.

Another approach is enhanced and implemented strict controls over the use of portable media and equipment. Where devices like thumb drives, compact disks and laptops are used to interface with plant equipment, measures are in place to minimize the cyber threat. These measures include authorizing use of portable assets to the performance of a specific task, minimizing the movement from less secure assets to more secure assets, and virus scanning. As a result, nuclear power plants are well protected from attacks which was propagated through the use of portable media.

Training and insider mitigation programs have been enhanced to include cyber attributes. Individuals who work with digital plant equipment are subject to increased security screening, cyber security training and behavioral observation.

The cyber protection measures of nuclear power palnt include maintaining equipment listed in the plant configuration management program and ensuring changes to the equipment are performed in a controlled manner. A cyber security impact analysis is performed before making changes to relevant equipment. The effectiveness of cyber security controls is periodically assessed, and enhancements are made where necessary. Vulnerability assessments are performed to ensure that the cyber security posture of the equipment is maintained.

As in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has extensive regulations in place that are closely monitored and regularly inspected to ensure cyber security at nuclear power plants. The NRC Cyber Security Directorate provides centralized oversight for this important area. In China, for example, after more than 10 years updating, a completed cyber security system was established in Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant, which contains an independent access port and firewall system.

With the increasing concern on the cyber security, it will also become a topic of the 5th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform next May. For more information on this industry gathering, email jeremy@industry-platform.com

What is the Potential of India’s Nuclear Industry

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

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Today another big nuclear market besides China that attracts many attention in the world is India. Nuclear energy is the fourth-largest source of power in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources, which has an installed capacity of 5780MW in 21 units and provides 3.5% of India’s total power consumption.

India has a large demand of nuclear energy

With the rapid growth of the economy, the power demand of India has been increasing even faster in the past few years, for instance, the 1193 TWh gross produced in 2013 was more than triple the 1990 output. Once Narendra Modi came to power as the Prime Minister, the nuclear energy is seen as the solution to India’s electricity supply. The Indian government plans to build 40 reactors units by 2032, to increase the output about 10 times by the nuclear energy. The International Energy Association predicted that in 2040, India will be the second largest market for the nuclear industry only behind China.

The Indian Government Actively Seeking Cooperation Opportunities

In June during Narendra Modi visiting the United States, the US government and the Indian government agreed to move ahead with the construction of 6 nuclear reactors in India by Westinghouse. The deal is estimated about $20 billion. Besides, earlier of this year in January, India and France discussed about starting a new nuclear project in West India in 2017. India and Japan signed a MoU in 2015, which said these two country will enhance their cooperation on future nuclear industry.

Besides, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has also established the long term relationships with AREVA, GE-Hitachi, and Westinghouse.

Completed R&D and Supply Capability of the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear power for civil use is well established in India. Since building the two small boiling water reactors at Tarapur in the 1960s, its civil nuclear strategy has been directed towards complete independence in the nuclear fuel cycle, necessary because it is excluded from the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty due to it acquiring nuclear weapons capability after 1970.

As a result, India’s nuclear power program has proceeded largely without fuel or technological assistance from other countries. The pressurised heavy-water reactor design was adopted in 1964, since it required less natural uranium than the Boiled Water Reactors, needed no enrichment. India’s nuclear energy self-sufficiency extended from uranium exploration and mining through fuel fabrication, heavy water production, reactor design and construction, to reprocessing and waste management. It has a small fast breeder reactor and is building a much larger one. It is also developing technology to utilise its abundant resources of thorium as a nuclear fuel.

With the large demand, government strong support, and sufficient R&D capability, it is no doubt that India is one of the most important and attractive market today to the global nuclear industry. As Dr J. Kumar concluded on the 4 Asia Nuclear Business Platform“The Indian nuclear power industry is expected to undergo a significant expansion in the coming years. Administrative, legal and commercial arrangements are in place to allow India to carry out trade of nuclear fuel and technologies with other countries and significantly enhance its power generation capacity.

The Indian nuclear industry is always an important topic of Asia Nuclear Business Platform and it will be discussed during the 5 Asia Nuclear Business Platform in May in Shanghai. For more information please contact: jeremy@industry-platform.com

UK Parliament First Time Debates on Hinkley Point C Project

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

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Hinkley Point C, the nuclear power plant which China, France, and UK are all involved, was finally approved by the UK government. As a demonstration of the Chinese nuclear industry on the global stage, this £18 billion project has a wild attention from not only the nuclear industry but also many other fields.

Recently after the approval of the government, the parliament of the United Kingdom had a debate on Hinkley Point C project, to analyse the benefit for UK and its residents from this nuclear project.

First of all, there are three changes of the policy that France (EDF) and China (CGN) need to accept before the construction of the power plant eventually start. Firstly, after Hinkley, the British Government will take a special share in all future nuclear new build projects. Secondly, the Office for Nuclear Regulation in UK will be directed to require notice from developers or operators of nuclear sites of any change of ownership or part-ownership. Thirdly, the UK Government will significantly reform its approach to the ownership and control of critical infrastructure to ensure that the full implications of foreign ownership are scrutinised for the purposes of national security. These changes will definitely increase the intervention from the UK government in the future nuclear power projects, which the UK will remain one of the most open economies in the world, the public can be confident that foreign direct investment works in the country’s best interests.

For the United Kingdom, it isn’t required to pay any until the nuclear power plant commence to produce electricity. This £18 billion investment in Britain provides an upgrade in our supply of clean energy. When it begins producing electricity in the middle of the next decade it will provide 7% of the UK’s electricity needs; giving secure energy to 6 million homes for 60 years. Besides, all the construction risk will be on the investors which means EDF and CGN but UK according to the contract.

Hinkley unleashes a long overdue new wave of investment in nuclear engineering in the UK, creating 26,000 jobs and apprenticeships and providing a huge boost to the economy, not only in the South West, but in every part of the country through the supply chain of firms, big and small, that will benefit from the investment. EDF have also confirmed that UK businesses are set to secure 64% of the value of the £18 billion investment being made, which is the biggest single capital project in the UK today.

Britain needs to upgrade its supplies of energy, and we have always been clear that nuclear is an important part of ensuring our future low-carbon energy security. The Government is committed to ensuring the country has a secure low carbon energy supply. Hinkley Point C will be a critical part of that, and will inaugurate a new era of UK nuclear power – building on Britain’s strong nuclear legacy. Currently, the UK has eight nuclear power stations which generate around 20% of power in the UK. Almost all of these existing power stations are due to close by 2030. This underlines why the Government needs to take decisions now on how we will ensure we have sufficient and diverse supply fit for future generations.

About the security which is most concerned by the public, the construction of Hinkley Point C will be under the close scrutiny of the Office for Nuclear Regulation – which is independent of the industry and of ministers. The Office for Nuclear Regulation has the power necessary to halt construction or require amendments to any part of the plant if at any point it is not completely satisfied with the safety of any part of the reactor and its associated construction.

As we can see, it is obviously good but harm to the United Kingdom of this nuclear project. I believe the government made the decision after a cautious consideration and saw the benefits. This is, as I said in my post last year when I first heard the news: Hinkley Point C is a Triple Win to UK, France, and China.

The international cooperation in the nuclear industry will be discussed during the 5th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform next May. For more information on this industry gathering, email jeremy@industry-platform.com

What Can We Expect For the Nuclear Industry following the G20 Summit 2016?

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

Last week, the G20 2016 Summit was successfully hosted in Hangzhou China. As we know, G20 is an international forum mostly focusing on the world economy, leaders from the major countries of the world gathered and a variety of topics were discussed including the nuclear industry on deepening existing and starting new bilateral or multilateral cooperation.

Not as many traditional industries of which the development has been severely affected by the slowly growing global economy, the nuclear industry is growing fast today driven by its enlarging market. During the opening remark, China’s president Xi Jinping emphasized again that the world economy is facing the challenge of stagnation and the key to overcome it is to strengthen globalization and innovation, drive the economic growth from the third world, and it is the duty of the world to help Africa get industrialized. What he said is exactly working for the nuclear industry as well.

As the host state of G20 2016, China reiterated the concept of “sustainable development” and “inclusive growth”, and first time put Africa prior on the world development to-do list. This year in June, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) approached Sudan and proposed to assist Sudan, which is one of the least developed countries in the world, establish its nuclear energy supply. Egypt also announced its future nuclear development plan and signed the contract with Russia one month later.

During the G20 Summit, the President of Argentina Mauricio Macri met with the president of CNNC Qian Zhimin. Besides the previous Hualong-1 project that CNNC is constructing in China, Macri and Qian Zhimin achieved an agreement on building another heavy water reactor plant in Argentina. Macri highly commented the cooperation between China and Argentina in the nuclear industry during the G20 conference, he promised that the construction of the new heavy water reactor project will commence in 2017.

President of Argentina Mauricio Macri and president of CNNC Qian Zhimin discussing on the future nuclear project

From the recent movement of the nuclear market, we can expect that in the near future, the Third World will be the biggest engine, which means a bigger emerging market of the global nuclear industry.

Another news from the G20 Summit is the new discussion on UK’s nuclear project Hinkley Point C. The Prime Minister of UK Theresa May promised during the summitthe government will give the final answer to the ups and downs of the project by the end of September 2016.

The emerging market of the nuclear industry is always the main focus of Asia Nuclear Business Platform, and it will be deeply discussed during the conference. For more information on this industry gathering, email jeremy@industry-platform.com

Nuclear Energy Potential in Developing Countries Today — Southeast Asia

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

Today, the global nuclear industry comes its third prosperity. Unlike the previous two times in 1950s and 1970s, with the deepening of the globalization and the marketization of the nuclear industry, more and more developing countries show the interest of the nuclear energy and it boosts the industry.

Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, East Europe, Africa, and Latin America are the potential market attracting companies bidding for its planned or ongoing nuclear projects.

As it was discussed in the Asia Nuclear Business Platform, I would like to share some of my thoughts on the nuclear potentials in Southeast Asia and South Asia above.

Nuclear Industry in Southeast Asia

  1. Demands of the nuclear energy

Being close to the second and third largest economy in the world, Southeast Asia today is one of the fastest economic growing region in the world. In 2015, the GDP in ASEAN grew by 4.4% which is higher than the global average of 3.1%. Even though the economy in China is continuously slowing down, IMF still looks highly of the Southeast Asia’s economic growth in 2016. Besides, Southeast Asia has a large population of 0.6 billion and it is still growing. The growing economy and population caused the demand of more energy.

Electricity in Southeast Asia is primarily generated from fossil resources and hydro-power. While the region is awash with energy resources, rising demand has placed a strain on them. Southeast Asia has been a net oil importer since long time ago, and most of the natural resources are located in South China Sea or far away from the land where require massive infrastructure investments. In addition, the signing of the Paris Agreement about climate change last year resulted in a control of exploitation of the fossil resources.

Rising energy demand and soaring energy prices, coupled with increasing consciousness about climate change,  will combine to create a strong impetus of Southeast Asian countries to embark on a nuclear path.

2.Current Situation of the Nuclear Industry by Country

Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand are standing ahead of other Southeast Asian countries that they have already floated proposals for the construction of 16 nuclear reactors (4 from Indonesia, 4 from Thailand, 8 from Vietnam).  For Vietnam, it has considered establishing nuclear power generation since 1995, and firm proposals surfaced in 2006, and Russia has agreed to finance the nuclear projects since 2020.

The government of Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar talked about the nuclear energy and they all showed the interest. However, these countries have not published any plan of the future nuclear power plant, even like Malaysia has already set up its government agency to look after the nuclear industry.

The Philippine nuclear program started in 1958 with the creation of the Philippine Atomic Energy Commission, in 1973, the Philippine governement announced to build their nuclear power plant. However, after the Three Mile Island accident in America, the nuclear project in Philippines has been suspended till today. This year, the new president of Phillippines Rodrigo Duterte said he wants to revive the former nuclear project in Philippines to resolve the power issue in the country.

Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Philippines

3. Hesitation of the Nuclear Industry Development

It is no doubt that in the short term future, the nuclear industry in Southeast Asia will still stay at the planning or feasibility researching stage.  The hesitation mostly come from the consideration of nuclear safety, political stability of the country, financing of the project, and technology capacity.

Doosan Vina, the first qualified nuclear equipment manufacturing base in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is located on the active border of crustal plates where seism and tsunami are considered as the frequent natural disaster. Thus, the nuclear engineers will have to deal with the challenge of earthquake and the risk of radiation leakage caused by the natural disaster in the future.

The instability of the politic environment in Southeast Asia is a big problem that slows down the development of the nuclear industry in the region.  The lack of enforcement and authority inside their country is a common difficulty of the government from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Philippines.

Thus, to embrace the bright future of the nuclear industry in Southeast Asia, these are the issues that must be discussed.

What do you think of the nuclear industry in Southeast Asia?

Global Times: the Failure in Lianyungang is the “Pain” of China’s Nuclear Industry

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

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Recently, besides the Olympic Games, another news which attracted massive attention in China was the protest in Lianyungang, a city 480 kilometers away from Shanghai in the north, against a nuclear waste processing plant which was planned by CNNC and AREVA. Residents in Lianyungang shouted slogans and waved banners outside government offices at the weekend to complain about the health impacts, which caused body conflict as well. So far, due to the strong objection, this project has been suspended by the local government.

On 11 August, Global Times which is one of the most important government media published a commentary: the failure (of government) in Lianyungang is the pain of China’s nuclear industry. This event has very serious consequence and bad influence in China.

What is the nuclear project and how is the protestation?

French nuclear fuel group Areva in 2012 agreed to cooperate with China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) to build a reprocessing facility in China, without identifying the location. Locals say that Lianyungang, a port city in Jiangsu province, is a prime candidate, because a large new nuclear power station is being built by CNNC nearby. What’s more, as a portal city, Lianyungang has very convenient transportation on shipping and rail, which allows the city to easily gather the spent fuel from different places.

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Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant in Lianyungang

“Building a nuclear waste processing plant in Lianyungang is a recipe for disaster for future generations, local people have a right to express anger,” a hotel worker who declined to be named said.

Pictures posted online showed locals massing in a public square surrounded by hundreds of police. The gathering people alleged that they were beaten by the police which resulted one death of them.

Why are people against nuclear in China?

By now, China has 34 nuclear power reactors in operation, and 20 under construction, and work about to start on more, which makes China the biggest nuclear growing country in the world.

However, safety fears grew following a series of meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in March 2011 that were intensely covered by China’s state-run media. China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a report the same year that the country’s nuclear safety situation was “not optimistic”, and that the use of differing types of reactors in Chinese plants made the sector “difficult to manage”.

In addition, Chinese people are losing their trust of the government especially on this kind of big industrial project. Last year, a PX plant exploded in Zhangzhou which was proved safe by many experts and the local government, and the big blast in Tianjin in the last summer also raised up the worry of residents.

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CNNC and Areva announced in 2015 about this CNY 10billion project

How will the public attitude influence the future of Chinese nuclear industry?

This Lianyungang protest is not the first time that Chinese citizens objected the government on a nuclear project. 2013 in Jiangmen, 50 km away from Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, a construction site of nuclear fuel processing factory was abandoned because of the resistance from local residents.

Public protects like Lianyungang and Jiangmen are definitely not good for the development of the nuclear industry to China. This is presently one of the biggest challenge that China need to overcome.

In my opinion, the key to the public acceptance in China is the average educated level about nuclear. As for most of Chinese the only resource to get knowledge of nuclear is reading news in which the most mentioned are nuclear accidents like Fukushima or Chernobyl. Thus, I praise that the Chinese companies like CNNC, CGN, SPIC all have their public communication events to let people get in touch with nuclear.

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Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant opened for public visitors

What is your opinion towards the protest and public communication in the nuclear indsutry?

Nuclear power developments in Asia will be discussed during the 5th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform next May. For more information on this industry gathering, email jeremy@industry-platform.com

Will Japan’s Nuclear Industry Seize the Opportunity?

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

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As an industrialized and affluent nation in Asia, Japan has the advanced technology and a mature market of the nuclear industry. However, after the Fukushima disaster, the Japanese nuclear industry has stagnated until last year when Sendai Nuclear Power Plant restarted operation.

Today, the global nuclear industry is boosted by a large demand from developing countries including China, South East Asia, Middle East, Africa. Japan also announced their ambition to overcome the difficulty caused by the Fukushima disaster and to play an important role in the nuclear industry in the future. What are Japan’s advantages in the global nuclear industry in 2016?

  1. Abundant Experience in the Nuclear Industry

Japan started research on the nuclear energy since the 1950s and it constructed its first nuclear power plant in 1963 which was a boiling water reactor and decommissioned in 1976. In the past 5 decades, 55 reactor units have been built in Japan and they provide 30% of the power in Japan in 2011. For example, TEPCO, which is the biggest electric power company, owns and operates 17 nuclear reactor units.

In the nuclear industry, when it go for a bid, experience is always a big issue need to be considered.  That is why when China wants to export its technology, China always constructs one demonstration plant first to increase the credibility.

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  1. Integrated Nuclear Industry Structure

Japan has one of the most sophisticated industrial foundation in the world which is also applicable for its nuclear industry. Few countries in the world like Japan has the capability of the entire nuclear supply chain including nuclear reactor design, nuclear equipment manufacturing,  nuclear fuel cycle management, nuclear power plant operation and maintenance.

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For example,  Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant was designed and constructed, and will also be maintained by Japan Atomic Power Company which is a company formed up by Japanese utilities such as TEPCO and Hitachi Ltd, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries company. Therefore, for most of developing countries like Vietnam that does not has sufficient local industry to support the nuclear energy, countries have integrated nuclear industry are more easily to take the market.

  1. Complete Legislation on the Nuclear Industry

The first law about the nuclear energy in Japan was issued in 1955. In the long history of the nuclear development in Japan, the legislation on the nuclear energy was completed step by step. Compared to China whose nuclear legislation is still left as blank, a complete legislation system allows the Japanese nuclear industry has a specification of standards.

  1. Active Foreign Policy for Nuclear Business

Japan is deeply involved in the global nuclear industry and as such is banking on exports of nuclear power plants. The Japanese big corporation Toshiba owns 87% of Westinghouse, Hitachi and Mitsubishi have tie-ups with GE and Areva which means that Japanese firms are major players in nuclear energy.

Besides, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is a longstanding advocate of nuclear energy. In Japan, he pushed the country to restart its nuclear power plant. Globally, he is the pitchman of the Japanese nuclear industry. Japan signed Memorandum of Understandings on nuclear energy with Turkey, UAE, and India when Abe visited  each of them. Furthermore, the Abenomics of fiscal stimulus and monetary easing policy  will also encourage the export of Japan’s nuclear industry.

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 MoU on civil use of nuclear energy signed between Japan and India

What do you think of Japan’s nuclear industry?

The nuclear industry in Asia will be discussed during the 5th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform next May. For more information on this industry gathering, email jeremy@industry-platform.com

Chinese media reaction to the suspension of the Hinkley Point C Nuclear Project

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

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On 30 July, the shocking news which hit the global nuclear industry was that the new British government headed by Theresa May announced further suspending on the China-France-UK nuclear project. Significantly, it was supposed to be day of the final contract signing.

How did the Chinese media react to this bitter-pill?

I spent some time scanning the local media in China and was quite surprised that the reaction was quite subdued. Initially I was certain the Chinese media would be out in full force to lambast the decision. This was not the case though.

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The Global Times, a Chinese government newspaper had the headline – “The nuclear project testing the attitude toward China from the new UK government”. The article expressed the concern of the Sino-British relationship after Theresa May came to power. It quoted the comments from the UK Daily Mail that Theresa snubbed France, upset China and trashed Cameron’s legacy.

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The Chinese Central Government’s publicity, Guang Ming Daily, published the news and revealed that based on the current situation, China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) respects the decision of UK government, and CGN will continue to stand together with EDF and continue implementing the nuclear project in UK.

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China’s Economic Daily analyzed the reason why Theresa’s cabinet made the decision. It might come from multiple aspects including the global low fossil fuel price, government budget in UK, and national safety issue etc.

However, the Economic Daily still hold an optimistic view. Theresa May visited France and met Francois Hollande after the Brexit on 21 July, Hinkley Point C nuclear project was one of the topics they discussed. After that, the board of EDF agreed to increase 4 billion euro capital in the company which was seen as a signal to achieve the UK nuclear project. On the other hand, the labor union of UK criticized the decision of May’s cabinet because it reduced at least 25,000 employment opportunities in UK.

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Phoenix New Media interviewed one of the senior researcher of The Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham, he said the main issue is the government finance. But it is even elusory after the new Chancellor of Exchequer Philip Hammond visited China last week.

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China Business Network described it as Theresa’s fire. Theresa is conservative on foreign capital entering the British market. She was unsatisfied with the project when she was the Home Secretary of David Cameron. The former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable told the reporter that the main disagreement of Theresa May is on the Chinese investment, Theresa hasn’t replied this statement yet.

 

The Brexit tells the world that today the new trend of anti-globalization is growing. To the nuclear industry of which the development is driven by the international trading and cooperation, as far as I am concerned, it is definitely not a right movement. According to the recent announcement, the new Prime Minister Theresa May’s attitude is clear, she is very prudent on the foreign investment in UK, so as for foreign students and workers. Thus, it is not hard to understand Theresa May suspending the final decision on Hinkley Point C nuclear power project. Besides, when she was the Home Secretary, her attitude towards China and Sino-British Relationship was not friendly as David Cameron. Even she hasn’t officially discussed about the future relationship between China and UK, it is more likely she will continue her conservative attitude at least in a short future.

Hinkley Point C nuclear project should be the first time China investing and involved in a mature nuclear market. Last year after signing the contract with UK and France, China gained the opportunity to export its nuclear industry to Romania and Argentina as well. The success on Hinkley Point C encouraged China in the global nuclear market a lot. However, it can also be the great blow to the Chinese nuclear industry instead if the project finally fails. I would like to see the current situation as a big challenge for China, not only for CGN or China’s nuclear industry, because the butterfly effect of the Hinkley Point C failure can be immeasurable.

While the current reactions of the Chinese to this disappointment is rather measured, it remains to be seen if this will continue to be the case. The Hinkley C project was seen by the Chinese as an important project on the international market. Let’s hope the suspension is a mere small blip.

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