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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20 Nuclear Power Floating Platforms on South China Sea

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

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Recently, the South China Sea attracted a lot of international attention. It is a massive undeveloped area with abundant natural resources. After the warm disputation, on 14th July, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) official information publishing platform reprinted an article about” China will build 20 floating nuclear power plants on South China Sea”.  Last week, CNNC and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) officially signed a strategic cooperation agreement to work together on developing floating nuclear power plants.

A floating nuclear power plant is a combination of a small modular reactor and ship engineering. Floating nuclear power plants offer various advantages: construction in a factory or shipyard should bring efficiencies; environmental impact is extremely low; and decommissioning can take place at a specialized facility. However, the offshore environment brings important considerations, such as access for personnel and equipment and the need to ensure radioactive materials never enter the sea. According to this plan, China will be the second country operating the floating nuclear power plant after Russia.

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Not concerning about the political and military issues, how will the 20 floating nuclear power plants plan affect the nuclear industry?

Firstly, it will encourage the development on SMR. A floating nuclear platform is not required to supply massive energy, the most of them will be use to support the ocean exploitation on the islands and reefs in the South China Sea according to the Chinese government’s declaration, which a hundreds MWe output is sufficient. Although SMR has been discussed for decades in the nuclear industry, compared with traditional large nuclear project, SMR still lags far away behind. However, with the most important features of flexibility and long-term operation period with single charge, SMR is described as customizing, which means a big potential market.

Another result is more companies, such as CSIC which does not belong to the traditional power industry, will be involved in the nuclear development. CSIC signed the cooperative agreement with China General Nuclear Power Corporations (CGN) and State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) in January of 2016, so far, CSIC has established the relationship with all three Chinese nuclear operators.

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CSIC and SPIC signing the strategic cooperation agreement

CGN announced 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. The 20 floating nuclear power plants idea is not an impractical whim but more like a well-prepared deliberate decision. The first floating nuclear power plant in South China Sea may start its operation by 2020.

What is your opinion towards the floating nuclear power plant?

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

Another Nuclear Project in Shaanxi? Why it is so Hard to Build an Inland Nuclear Power Plant in China?

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

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Inland nuclear power plant is not unfamiliar to us, as there are hundreds of reactor units being operated far away from the coast. However, China, which has the most of nuclear reactor units under construction and planning to build, has not officially approved any inland nuclear project to be constructed so far, even though there are many inland provinces in China put forward their nuclear energy development plan more than 5 years ago like Hunan, Hubei, and Jiangxi.

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The reasons that Chinese government suspended all the inland nuclear power plant projects before come from 3 aspects, in my opinion.

The first difficulty China facing to build an inland nuclear power plant is China’s topography and climate. One of the necessary condition to locate a nuclear power plant is water. Unlike Europe, it is not very easy to find an ideal location in China that can serve stable and abundant water. Because of the seasonal climate, many places in China suffer floods during the summer and aridity during the winter. In addition, China is a country with frequent natural disaster such as seism and typhoon. These are the features have to be considered when the government locates a nuclear power plant.

The second is the demand of electricity in inland China is still not as crucial as China’s coastal region. Due to the limitation of topography and climate, almost all the potential inland nuclear power plants are decided to be constructed in the Yangzi River Basin. However, with the output of 84 billion kWh per year, the Three Gorges Project eased the pressure of the electricity demand in the basin to a great extent. On the other hand, in January, the Chinese president Xi Jinping required the Yangzi River Basin region to put the environmental protection on the priority in their next few years plans and do not initiate large-scale development project.

The last but not the least is the public attitude towards the nuclear power in China.

However, the economic benefits of a nuclear power plant is huge and obvious. For example, in Haiyan, the China Nuclear Power City where Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant located, the local fiscal revenue has grown 10 times in the past 20 years, 40% of the local GDP is directly driven by local nuclear industries. This is the main reason that many local governments intend to develop the nuclear industry in their region.

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Taohuajiang, one of the planned inland nuclear power site

In June 2016, Shaanxi government and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced to build a nuclear power plant in Shaanxi Province. A team of experts from CNNC came to Shaanxi last week for the site selection and it is expected to be finalized by the end of this year. Several media in China predicted that the first inland nuclear power plant will be approved by the central government not later than 2017.

Do you think China should build inland nuclear power plants?

Chinese Nuclear Energy: Transitioning towards Digital Power Plants

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

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The idea of digital nuclear power plant was firstly mooted in the 1990s. With the concept of the full lifecycle management of nuclear power station, design data, construction data, commissioning data, real-time data and business process data for the project were integrating effectively from engineering period to operation period. Adopting advanced information technology, an intelligent or digital nuclear power plant would be constructed to achieve resources sharing across platforms for structured data and unstructured data. A full digital nuclear power plant system contains 5 basic parts: distributed control system, supervisor information system, management information system, plant simulation system, and decision support system.

Today, in China, the idea of digital nuclear power plant is on its way to being realized in the nuclear power plant construction.

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The digitalized level of a nuclear power plant relies on the digitalized level of the control system. China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) is one of the most active company on designing the intelligent nuclear power plant system in China. In December of 2015, the major special project of nuclear power plant digital instrument control system with independent intellectual property right of which the R&D was led by CGN was approved by the Chinese National Energy Administration. This instrument control system is named “Harmony System”, and it is able to be installed in multiple type of Gen II, Gen III, and Gen III+ nuclear reactor unit. The “Harmony System” has already been installed in Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant and High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors in Shidaowan Nuclear Power Plant. CGN is the first of China, and the fifth in the world to own this technology after companies in the United States, France, and Japan.

Besides, Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute (SNERDI) of State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) is undergoing the designing of the digital control system for CAP1400 reactors as well. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) also announced its goal of a full digital nuclear power set for its Hualong reactor in Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant.

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From the previous experiences, an installed digital nuclear system can save millions dollar a year for the operation of a nuclear power plants. Additionally, a digital nuclear system has better capability in the management of general operation accidents in the nuclear power plant.

Presently, the digital nuclear system only takes a little part of the nuclear industry. In my opinion, the digitization of nuclear power plants should be a continuous trend of the development of the global nuclear industry and there will be a big potential market in the future.

Do you agree? What is your opinion on digital nuclear power plants?

2016 Half Year Review of the Chinese Nuclear Industry

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

 

Chinese Nuclear Industry

 

Ever since 2014, China has been being one of the most active countries in the global nuclear market under its trend of being more market-oriented and international. This year, China kept the steps on rapidly developing its nuclear industry.

As we reached the halfway stage of 2016, I have summarized three main fields of the industry that China has made progress and achieve breakthrough so far in 2016.

1.Nuclear Safety: A complete legislation system is being established

On 27th January of 2016, the Chinese State Council published China’s Nuclear Emergency Preparedness white paper, which explains the current situation of China’s solution to the nuclear emergency and clarifies the government functioning for the nuclear safety issues. China’s Nuclear Emergency Preparedness is the first official nuclear related white paper in China, and it is a milestone documents of Chinese nuclear industry. Although China has the most number of nuclear reactor units under construction now, the lack of relevant legislation in China for civil-use nuclear energy is one of the issue that is hampering the development of China’s nuclear industry. This white paper is a good start for China to complete the nuclear related regulation which can increase the competiveness of China’s nuclear industry in both domestic and international markets.

 

China Nuclear Emergency Preparedness

In April, the Chinese president Xi Jinping attended the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. During the summit, he mentioned the progress that China has made on the safety of civil-use nuclear energy, and he reiterated that China will continue enhancing the system establishment.

The next six months of 2016 in the nuclear safety field, in my opinion, China will continue on completing the related standard and regulation system establishment. Besides, according to the target of China’s 13th five-year plan, nuclear back-end management and radioactive security will be another important part of China’s nuclear safety work.

 

2.Nuclear Industry Export: consolidation and improvement

In 2015, China successfully signed several contracts of building nuclear power plants in other countries such as UK, Romania, and Argentina. However, like the Hinkley Point C project, due to the financing problem of EDF, this project now is taking the risk of being delayed. At the start of this year, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) set up a subsidiary in UK to look after the European market. Some people guessed the purpose of CNNC’s foundation of the subsidiary was to get involved in the Hinkley Point C project as well with its abundant financing support.

On 17th March, the joint-venture of CNNC and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), Hualong International Nuclear Power Technology Company was officially established. As one of the most popular product of China in the global nuclear industry, Hualong technology was exported to Argentina in 2015 and it is expected to build another one in UK few years later. Not like CNNC and CGN working separately before, this joint-venture Hualong Company is specially working on the export of Hualong-1 technology and expand its international market.

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On the other hand, some new countries became China’s next target of the nuclear industry export in the past six month of this year. In March, CGN and CEZ Group signed a new MoU on cooperation in the nuclear and clean energy industries. Czech Republic is the second largest energy-exporting country in Europe where two nuclear power plants are located. Based on the latest energy policy of Czech Republic announced in May of 2015, there will be 4 more nuclear units being constructed before 2030. In May, Nur Bekri, the Minister of National Energy Administration, together with the President of CNNC Sun Qin visited Sudan, one of the most undeveloped countries in the world. Sun Qin and the Sudanese Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity, Mutaz Musa signed the contract that China will build the first nuclear power plant in Sudan to encourage the local economy.

For China, developing countries is a big market for its nuclear industry. According to the “One Belt One Road” Initiatives and “Going out” strategy, in the future, as I would like to say, China will focus more on developing nuclear newcomer’s market.

 

3.Marketization: foundation of a free and mature cooperation-competition mechanism

Since State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) and China Power Investment Corporation (CPIC) merged together into State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) in 2015, there are three organizations own the license of operating nuclear power plant in China which are SPIC, CNNC, and CGN.

This year, a new member joined the competition which is China Nuclear E&C Group (CNEC). CNEC used to be a subsidiary of CNNC focusing on the engineering and construction of nuclear power plants. In 1999, CNEC was separated from CNNC and became an independent company. CNEC grew rapidly and its business was no longer limited in the E&C of nuclear power plants. In earlier of this year, the first High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor which was developed and owned by CNEC was installed in Shidaowan Nuclear Power Plant, and CNEC will become the next organization owns the nuclear power plant operation license. Few days ago on 6th June, CNEC was listed on China’s stocks market and its price climbed up to the 10% daily limit immediately.

As the big opportunity in the nuclear market, besides CNEC, China Huaneng Group and China Datang Group also wrote the nuclear power plant operation license in their future development plan.

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China Huaneng Group being a part of Shidaowan Nuclear Power Plant

With the continuous reforming of China’s state-owned company, the nuclear industry of China is becoming more and more market-oriented. In my point of view, the Chinese government will keep on releasing the control of the civil use nuclear industry and allow it to be led by the market.

 

2016 is a very important period for the development of China’s nuclear industry. It is the first year of China’s 13th five-year plan. There are 6 nuclear reactor units expected to commence the operation in this year. China has entered a new phase of steadily fast development of its nuclear industry. The government need to play an important role of the planner and supervisor to make sure the industry can grow safely and efficiently.

Half of this year has passed, I believe that the Chinese nuclear industry will show the world a satisfying result by the end of 2016.

The Chinese nuclear industry participation in the emerging market

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

Last year in Paris, the world reached an agreement on reducing the carbon emission and preventing climate change. The <COP21> was signed which set each country a respective target. As Dr Jan Horst Keppler from the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency said during the 4th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform (ANBP), nuclear energy is the only low carbon-emission resources that can be scaled so far.  Thus, nuclear energy is seen as an alternative option to optimize the energy structure by more and more countries especially those developing economies.

 

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Panel for Nuclear Emerging Countries at ANBP2016

 

China, used to be a newcomer in the nuclear industry, today it is undergoing the “One Belt One Road” Initiatives and “Going out” strategy, pushing the export of its nuclear product.  Being active on the global stage, there is no reason that China could miss the newcomer’s market.

For the majority of the developing countries, there are two major barriers to establishing the nuclear industry. One is the technique barrier, and another is the financing barrier.

Since 2014, as part of the “One Belt One Road” Initiative, China has taken the responsibility to help those countries overcome the difficulties of developing a nuclear industry.

China signed a MOU with Kenya in 2015. The objective of the MOU is for China to help educate Kenyan nuclear experts to prepare the future nuclear project in Kenya.

The role is taken by China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN). CGN will enable Kenya to obtain expertise from China by way of training and skills development, technical support in areas such as site selection for Kenya’s nuclear power plants and feasibility studies including safety analysis and environmental impact assessment. The work has progress well thus far. During ANBP2016, Collins Juma, CEO of Kenya Nuclear Energy Board, gave positive comments on the bilateral cooperation with China, and he admitted that presently the main task for Kenya is to learn and accumulate.

 

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A Delegation from Brazil, Kenya, and South Africa Visited SNPTC for the Latest Technology

To solve the financial problems of the nuclear newcomers, Chinese nuclear companies always act both as the supplier and the investor. For example, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) took a loan from Industry Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to finance its project in Argentina.

Last month, Nur Bekri, the Minister of National Energy Administration, together with the President of CNNC Sun Qin visited Sudan, one of the most undeveloped countries in the world. Sun Qin and the Sudanese Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity, Mutaz Musa signed the contract that China will build the first nuclear power plant in Sudan to encourage the local economy.

 

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China and Sudan Signed MoU on the Nuclear Industry

Newcomers bring new blood in the global nuclear market and the market couldn’t be expanded without these emerging countries. With China’s support on the technology and financing, more and more countries will benefit from the nuclear industry and the carbon emission of the world will be controlled.

Chinese Nuclear Industry: Localization is Not a Threat for the International Nuclear Suppliers

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

Today, China is one of the most important markets in the global nuclear industry with 30 units of reactors in operation and 24 units of reactors under construction. To better control the enormous cost of the nuclear project and to master key technologies, the Chinese government set up the target of localization of the nuclear supply chain that the localization rate of Chinese nuclear industry will be raised to 80% after the 13th five-year plan.

Over the past few decades, China has achieved some of its localization targets, and the result of the localization looks satisfying. During the 4th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform, Dr Zhang Liquan, the director of supply chain management of State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation, elaborated the achievements of the supply chain localization of Chinese nuclear industry.

The following sheet shows the approach of the equipment localization for four AP1000 reactors built in China from Sanmen Unit 1 to Haiyang Unit 2.

 

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China now has the ability and capability to manufacture all the key equipment for different nuclear reactor designs that have been constructed in China. Shanghai Electric, the largest nuclear equipment supplier in China, of which the vice president Li Huagang attended the 4th ANBP, has built a largest-scale and highest-concentration base in the world to manufacture master devices of nuclear island, and forms a complete supply chain of master devices of nuclear island, with an annual output of 4 sets of 1000MW class reactor pressure vessels, 6 sets of 1000MW class steam generators, 6 sets of fuel handling, storage and transportation systems, 8 sets of 1000MW reactor internals and control rod drive mechanisms, 12 sets of main pumps and 50 sets of nuclear island pumps Level 2 and 3.

 

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Li Huagang, Vice President of Shanghai Electric Nuclear Group, talking at the Supply Chain Panel of ANBP2016

However, localization of Chinese nuclear industry does not mean China will isolate from the global nuclear market. The main GEN III reactor design of China, Hualong-1 and CAP1400 is generated respectively from Areava technology and Westinghouse AP1000. To achieve the localization goal, China is continuing and strengthening the cooperative relationships with mature global nuclear players.

Most of the nuclear suppliers, especially the foreign companies in China, may see the localization of Chinese nuclear industry as a threat, and worry about losing the market share. But in my opinion, it is more like an opportunity & challenge. Started from the 12th five-year plan, China has created plenty of cooperation opportunities with international nuclear vendors. Chinese companies spent money on buying advanced technology and financing the co-R&D programmes, from which an international nuclear suppliers can also benefit. For example, Shanghai Electric co-founded several subsidiaries with other international groups like Schneider and Morimatsu in China like for specific nuclear technology importing, and optimizing for the Chinese market.

China is no more a new comer of nuclear energy, but it is still a new comer of nuclear industry supply. To achieve the target of localization for the economy, international cooperation is the most efficient way and China has also chosen this way. Thus, I would like to say, the localization of Chinese nuclear industry is not a threat for an international nuclear supplier.

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Opportunity for law firms in China’s nuclear industry

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

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Since 2014, China’s nuclear industry has accelerated its movement to go out with signing contract to construct nuclear power plants in Pakistan, UK, Argentina, Romania. Now, China is becoming more aggressive in the global nuclear market. The fast expansion of the industry created opportunities not only for itself but also for those companies serving nuclear companies which include law firms.

Legal risk always exist in any industry trading activities, especially for the nuclear industry where the complexity is involved by politics, intellectual property protection, international treaties, and big amount of business transaction. Thus, the legal services can be provided from the following aspects.

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China’s PM Li Keqiang and the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma talking the nuclear export

Before going global, a Chinese nuclear company should first understand China’s policies and laws on investment abroad. China exercises controls over foreign exchange, and accordingly the first issue that a Chinese company encounters when venturing overseas is how to remit funds abroad. Aside from foreign exchange, China has now issued support policies that encourage the nuclear industry to go global. Companies should understand and take full advantage of these policies.

Besides, the industrial policy of the host country should be understood. Many countries have regulations attracting or restricting investment in the nuclear industry by foreign investors. Before going global, a Chinese nuclear company should conduct due diligence and gain an understanding of the situation. The standard of construction and radioactive safety of a nuclear reactor is also different in different countries. For example, when China exported Hualong-1 reactor to the United Kingdom, the construction standard had to fit the EU requirements.

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Safety of civil utilization of nuclear energy was discussed during the Nuclear Security Summit 2016 where the leaders of most countries in the world were attending

Unlike other industries, nuclear energy need more protection on the intellectual property during the international trading. China now has developed a series of new nuclear technologies such as Hualong-1, CAP1400, HTR etc. It has to be taken care of the technology intellectual property rights.

Legal services in the nuclear industry will be discussed during the 4th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform which will take place 18-19 May 2016 in Hong Kong. The senior partner Ms. Wang Jihong of Zhong Lun Law Firm, which provided legal services for China National Nuclear Corporation when it exported Hualong-1 reactor to Argentina, will share her experience in the nuclear industry and her opinion towards China’s nuclear industry going out during the conference.

Additionally international law firms such as Pillsbury, Shearman & Sterling and Luthra & Luthra will be sharing their perspectives during the conference.

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For a copy of the agenda, please email jeremy@industry-platform.com

Key nuclear highlights from China’s recent National People’s Congress

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

Lianghui, which means China’s National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), is hosted in March every year. All voted people’s representatives gather in Beijing to propose and discuss the policies of China. The nuclear industry is currently seen as China’s new economic growth engine, so what nuclear issues were discussed during 2016’sLianghui? I have identified 4 key issues below.

 

  1. Safely and Efficiently Developing Nuclear Power

Nur Bekri, the Head of China’s National Energy Administration, reiterated again during the congress that the government’s requirement of developing the nuclear energy in China. Safely and efficiently developing the nuclear industry is the only answer to the question on how China will develop its nuclear energy.

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The percentage of installed capacity of nuclear energy is now low in China. The 13th five-year plan set an arduous task to the Chinese nuclear industry that by 2020 China needs to install 58GW of nuclear energy capacity. To achieve the goal it requires China to accelerate the development, but safety is always on the top priority in the nuclear industry.

However, Nur Bekri also mentioned during the congress that China temporarily does not have any plan about an inland nuclear power plant.  The ongoing and planning coastal nuclear project is enough for China to reach the energy target.

 

2. Ensuring the Base-Load Operation of Nuclear Power

This year, He Yu, the President of China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) initiated and submitted a proposal that the government has to ensure the base-load operation of nuclear power and promote the realization of energy supply-side reform.

As China is on the phase optimizing its energy structure, nuclear energy is one of the best alternative source for China. In 2015 alone, the Chinese government approved the construction of 8 nuclear units, which shows the imperativeness of nuclear industry in China.

He Yu said that “Nuclear power has no carbon emissions, no dust, PM2.5 and other pollutants in the production process, the environmental effects of nuclear energy are very obvious. And it can continue to run at full power and it will not be affected by other climatic conditions.”

Besides, He Yu mentioned that in China, sometimes nuclear power plants cannot be operated basing on its base-load, which results in a serious waste of clean energy assets. There should be a clear policy on base-load operation of nuclear power to ensure the full output and large output of nuclear energy.

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CGN’s President He Yu at the Great Hall of People for CPPCC

3. Encouraging the Nuclear Industry to Go Out and Maintaining the Advantages of Hualong-1

One Belt One Road Initiative is one of the most important international strategies of China in the next few years. Sun Qin, the president of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said during the National People’s Congress that “Hualong-1 is now the most successful nuclear product of China, CNNC is now standing at the frontier of China’s nuclear industry development.” It is a great opportunity for Chinese nuclear industry going out and help China to realize the One Belt One Road Initiative.

In addition, CNNC also submitted the proposal of maintaining the advantages of Hualong-1 on the international stage by approving more new unit’s construction of Hualong-1 domestically. More units being built in China will increase the reliability of Hualong-1 technology as well as the experience of operating.

 

4. Continuing Reforming State-owned Companies to Increase Competitiveness

Almost all the Chinese nuclear companies are owned by the country. In the past few years, the reformation of state-owned company has started with partial privatization, corporates’ board system, issuing stocks etc. This year during Lianghui, Wang Binghua who is the president of State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) restated the necessity of reforming Chinese state-owned companies.

In 2015, State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) and China Power Investment Corporation (CPIC) jointed together and established SPIC by implementing the reform. This year SPIC is also planning to be listed on the stock market, which will be the third Chinese nuclear operator company after CGN and CNNC.

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SPIC, the joint corporate of SNPTC and CPIC

 

There are still a big amount of proposals being submitted about nuclear industry in China such as gaining the trust of nuclear energy from the public,deepening the international collaboration on expanding new nuclear market, and setting up new laboratories to study on new nuclear technologies.

What do you think about the proposals about Chinese nuclear industry?

China’s nuclear industry will be discussed during the 4th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform which will take place 18-19 May 2016 in Hong Kong. For more information, email jeremy@industry-platform.com

Key nuclear developments to watch in 2016

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Interview, Nuclear

In our last article, we had looked at the key nuclear developments in Asia in 2015. It was eventful year with significant developments coming out of China, both on the domestic and international front. With 2016 just starting, ANBP spoke with several nuclear industry experts to get their thoughts and insights on their predictions for the nuclear industry in 2016 and some of the nuclear developments to watch for this year.

 

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Andreas Goebel
CEO
ATMEA
Paul Murphy
Special Counsel
Milbank
Stephan Solzhenitsyn
Director
McKinsey
Edward Kee
Nuclear Economics Expert
NECG
Jonathan Hinze
Executive VP, International
UxC

 

We started off by first asking them on their predictions for the nuclear industry in 2016.

 

Paul Murphy

  • Interest in nuclear power will increase, as countries look for ways to meet COP21 climate goals
  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will become a new factor in the financing of nuclear power plants
  • Financing of decommissioning will become more widely discussed, as licensees and governments look for ways to accelerate (or accommodate accelerated) decommissioning and find creative ways to fund decommissioning activities.

Stephan Solzhenitsyn

  • Asian OEMs will step up their activity outside of Asia
  • There will be more closures in US and Western Europe due to economic factors. No new U.S. builds on the horizon
  • 2016 will give a strong indication whether traditional western OEMs will continue to be active in the new build business or will bow out and yield to the (Eur) Asian players.

Jonathan Hinze

  • China gets another reactor sale abroad
  • China starts construction on eight new reactors
  • Japan restarts at least six reactors
  • India finalizes deals with France and Russia for new reactors

Edward Kee

  • Japan – more nuclear power plants get permission to restart operation
  • China – announcement of first nuclear power plant export deal (not counting Pakistan units now under construction)
  • US – More merchant nuclear units decide to retire early
  • World – more environmentalists concerned about carbon emissions openly endorse nuclear power

 

Our panelist next shared their thoughts on some of the key nuclear developments to watch in 2016.

 

Paul Murphy

  • Continued progress of reactor restarts in Japan
  • Status of foreign technology reactor sites in India
  • Construction progress of the Barakah Project in UAE

Stephan Solzhenitsyn

  • Will the current new build projects run by traditional OEMs recover or fall into deeper troubles?
  • Will Japan succeed with reactors restart? Or will the restart smoothly transition to decommissioning?
  • Developments in the small/advanced nuclear
  • There is all the buzz about new technologies, but nothing coming to fruition near term

 Andreas Goebel

  • Restart of nuclear power plants in Japan
  • Preparation of the first Gen3+ NPPs start-up in China (AP1000 and EPR)
  • Development of the Turkish and Vietnamese nuclear projects
  • Launching of the Hinkley-Point project in the UK (EDF EPR)

Edward Kee

  • Germany – recognizes that nuclear power phase-out was a mistake and starts process to undo it
  • US – federal/state government takes action to prevent further nuclear power plant early retirements
  • World – nuclear power becomes a real option for countries developing COP21 plans
  • World – horizon for carbon reduction goals changed from 2030 to 2050

Jonathan Hinze

  • Further industry consolidation among suppliers (e.g., recent Westinghouse-CBI purchase, etc.)
  • Russia’s ability to finance export reactors becoming more difficult given low oil prices, domestic economic problems, etc.
  • Uncertainty with power markets in U.S. and Western Europe making life difficult for operating reactors
  • Growth opportunities in Middle East, especially potential new deals signed for construction in Saudi Arabia

 

What are your predictions for the nuclear industry this year and what are the key developments to watch for? Share with us your views.

Global nuclear power developments with a strong focus on Asia, will be discussed during the 4th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform which will take place 18-19 May 2016 in Hong Kong.

Asia Nuclear Business Platform is a 2 day programme covering the breadth and depth of the nuclear value chain. The industry gathering will have 250-300 senior participants with all the key stakeholders across the nuclear supply chain present: emerging NPP stakeholders, government, regulators, NSSS vendors, construction companies, law firms, and financial firms.

For more information, email zaf@industry-platform.com for a copy of the agenda.