China’s Three Key Approaches to Nuclear Public Communication

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

In July of 2013, a protestation against nuclear broke the silence of Heshan, a small town in south China, where CNNC planned to build a fuel processing factory. The project had been approved by the local government because the factory was able to drive CNY39 billion (USD 6 billion) of production value which would be even higher than the entire amount of 2012 in the town. However, the protest lasted several days and became more and more serious that the government finally cancelled the construction plan. This is the biggest anti-nuclear incident happened in Mainland China ever. After the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster which happened in 2011, public attitude towards the nuclear energy dropped to the lowest point in China.

But, according to China’s 13th Five-year plan, there will be 6 to 8 reactors being built each year in this country. This target will be tough if China cannot gain the support from the public. So, what is the strategy of China for the nuclear public communication?

1. Encourage More Enterprises to Enter the Nuclear Industry

China is facing a very big problem of economic recession especially for the heavy industry. Therefore, expanding business to the nuclear industry is also a solution to boost China’s heavy industry. “In the sector of nuclear equipment manufacturing, private companies have the same opportunity as state owned companies.” Said by Zhang Huazhu, the former Minister of National Energy Administration, and “45% of the investment for a nuclear new build will go to the nuclear equipment manufacturing industry that makes it the most profitable form the expansion of nuclear energy. The government will always encourage more enterprises to enter the industry.

For example, the heat transfer tube for the steam generator to use in ACP1000, produced by Baoyin Special Steel Co. which is a private capital funded company, was approved by National Energy Administration in 2013. The same product are not able to be assembled by a state owned company.

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The steel tube of Baoyin Special Steel Co.

This is a smart move for the Chinese government with more private companies participating and deriving new revenue streams from the nuclear industry, the “negative” image of nuclear will be reduced. Citizens will start to view the nuclear industry as just another normal industry. Show the people that business opportunities can be found in nuclear industry.

2. Strengthen the Public Nuclear Education

China Nuclear Power City, a nickname of Haiyan where located Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant and Fangjiashan Nuclear Power Plant, has more than twenty years of history that the local residents stay in harmony with the nuclear energy. While the nuclear site was under construction, nuclear knowledge libraries and a nuclear science activity centre were also included in the project. Every week, the nuclear power plant holds an open day to the public as well. Today, there are 68 nuclear-related programs located in Haiyan.

Nur Bekri, the minister of Chinese National Energy Administration, said “Haiyan is the model of China’s nuclear industry, especially for the harmony of public satisfaction, economic growth and the development of nuclear industry.”

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Haiyan, China Nuclear Power City

Social media is also a channel being used for nuclear public communication. The Weibo account (similar as Twitter) of CNNC, CGN and SPNTC are all having tens of thousands followers. Social media provides them the easiest way to introduce the nuclear industry and get the feedback from the public. With more engagement from the nuclear companies with the public, trust and relationship is established.

3. Complete the Legislation of Atomic Energy for Civil Use

In 2008, the Chinese government started thinking about the legislation of nuclear energy, and the formulation work has already commenced in 2012. However, the processing of the legislation was very slow because it involved several independent government departments.

In 2014, while Chinese President Xi Jinping inspected the work of State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defence, he reiterated the importance of legislation for the nuclear energy. The first point is to normalize the administrative activity of government and to standardize the relationships between government, companies, and the public.

As the main supervisor department of China’s nuclear industry, State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defence announced in its annual report that the legislation of atomic energy for civil use should be finished and be submitted to the National People’s Congress for approving in 2016.

With legislation enforced and implemented, credibility of the nuclear industry will be enhanced. Citizens will be more at ease knowing that the nuclear industry is proper and a regulated industry. In addition, a completed legislation will give public a rational channel to supervise the movement of nuclear industry and propose their suggestion.

In my opinion, China has put a lot of effort on gaining the support from public by letting more people involved into the nuclear industry, known about the nuclear industry, and standardizing the function of nuclear industry.

What do you think of China’s approaches for nuclear public communication?

 

 

Nuclear public communication will be discussed during the the 4th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform which will take place 18-19 May 2016 in Hong Kong.

Key nuclear power developments in Asia in 2015

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Nuclear

The development of nuclear energy is shifting increasingly toward Asia with China playing a central role, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano said during the IAEA General Conference in September.

 

Indeed 2015 was an eventful year for the nuclear industry in Asia. While nuclear developments in Asia is promising, it is predominantly China which is flying the flag for nuclear activities in Asia. China is where almost all the nuclear business activities are taking place at the moment. Nuclear power plants currently under construction in China account for 40% of the total around the world.

Domestically, China plans to almost triple its atomic power generation by the end of the decade and is forecast to spend $1 trillion to expand capacity by 2050. The strategy is outlined in the country’s recent 13th Five-Year Plan.

China will invest over $100 billion to construct around seven new reactors annually between now and 2030. By 2050, nuclear power should exceed 350 GW in that country including about 400 new nuclear reactors.

Internationally, 2015 saw China flex its muscle as a leader in nuclear technology export who could potentially match the Russians. China signed multi-billion dollars nuclear deals with Argentina, South Africa, Romania, as well as finalising its participation in UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear plant.

Southeast Asia which was once seen as a region of tremendous potential for new build has continued to stagnate and to a certain extent represent little business opportunities in the near future. Strong resistance from the public coupled with the lack of strong government will, in my opinion, means that nuclear new build might not materialize.

 

Below is a recap of some of the key nuclear developments in Asia for 2015.

 

China

In February, China Power Investment Corp merged with State Nuclear Power Technology Corp, as Beijing drives consolidation in its rapidly expanding nuclear power sector with the aim of eventually exporting reactors.

China’s State Council gave the go-ahead on Feb. 17 to begin building two new reactors at China General Nuclear Power Group’s Hongyanhe plant in the country’s northeast.

2 June, CGN signed an agreement with ASEAN Centre for Energy to carry out capacity-building activities for countries in the area with or planning nuclear energy programs, as well as to promote the establishment of a clean energy training centre.

In early June China National Nuclear Power (CNNC) was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The debut follows an IPO which raised $2.13 billion, the largest Chinese listing since 2011.

Late September, Bill Gates’ nuclear power company, TerraPower, signed an agreement with the CNNC allowing the two companies to collaborate on advanced nuclear technologies that address safety, environmental and cost issues – fast reactors that get ten times the energy from the same amount of fuel as old reactors.

In October, China General Nuclear (CGN) agreed to invest $9 bn in EDF Hinkley C nuclear power station which is slated to deliver two giant 1600 MW Areva EPRs by the middle of the next decade.

In November, China, represented by China National Nuclear Corporation concluded a $15bn deal with Argentina for the construction of two nuclear units. The same month CGN agreed to build two reactors in Romania worth $7.7bn in investment.

Regulators in South Africa and China signed a technical cooperation agreement in mid-November. China is in the race for the South African NPP construction program, which is worth up to $ 50bn. China hopes to land the contract using its CAP1400 nuclear technology, which is designed by Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute.

 

India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a plan centered on insurance on 25 January that they hope will convince U.S. companies to build nuclear power stations in India, but stopped short of demands to soften a liability law. The idea was to transfer the financial risk to insurers in case of an accident.

In October, Union Cabinet decided to amend the Atomic Energy Act to enable Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) to enter into joint ventures with other public sector undertakings. The amendment has been brought in to facilitate the fast expansion of the nuclear power, utility and establishment.

 

Japan

In August, Japan restarted its first nuclear reactor under new safety rules following the 2011 Fukushima disaster. After passing stringent new safety tests, Kyushu Electric Power restarted the number one reactor at its Sendai plant. In October, Kyushu Electric Power restarted the number-two reactor at Sendai.

 

South Korea

In March, Saudi Arabia and South Korea have signed a MOU to cooperate on the development of nuclear energy. The MOU calls for South Korean firms to help build at least two small-to-medium sized nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia.

In July, The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) published its 7th basic power supply plan for the period up to 2029. The updated plan includes the construction of two additional nuclear power reactors, which had not featured in the previous plan. South Korea currently has 24 reactors in operation and a further ten either under construction or planned.

 

Indonesia

In April 2015 BATAN declared RENUKO, the Russian-Indonesian Consortium with participation of ROSATOM subsidiaries, a winner of the tender for the conceptual design of a 10MW multipurpose experimental high-temperature gas-cooled reactor in Indonesia.

On June 2, 2015 National Nuclear Energy Agency of the Republic of Indonesia (BATAN) and the Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation ROSATOM signed a MoU on the Development of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.

In December, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said announced that Indonesia will not resort to nuclear energy. The move means a previous $8-billion plan to operate four nuclear plants with a total capacity of 6 gigawatt by 2025 will be canceled. The minister added that Indonesia will continue to follow developments in the field of nuclear technology and that it would remain a last-resort option for possible use beyond 2050.

 

Vietnam

Vietnam’s plan to introduce nuclear power to its energy mix faced a fresh setback in January as safety concerns and legal issues pushed back the planned construction of the country’s first nuclear plant by about five years from the initial schedule. Construction isn’t likely to begin until 2019 according to Hoang Anh Tuan, director general of Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency.

The government had aimed to build 13 nuclear reactors in eight plants with a combined capacity of 15 gigawatts by 2030. The country has chosen Rosatom to build the first plant, the 2,000 megawatt Ninh Thuan 1 in October 2010. Vietnam will receive a state loan of $8 billion from Russia to finance the project.

 

Malaysia

Government was supposed to table the Atomic Energy Regulatory Bill in Parliament by this year in order to get the project underway by 2021. However this has not materialize. The revised bill has a holistic approach to nuclear power management and regulation. The new law will now encompass safety, security and safeguards following heavy criticisms to the first Atomic Energy Bill which was debated and later withdrawn earlier this year. Malaysia presently has the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984 which regulates the nuclear industry.

Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC) will finalise its public opinion survey on nuclear as an energy resource and to complete the report by year-end. The survey found that over 70 per cent of its 2,400 respondents were uncertain about the viability of the new resource.

MNPC had signed non-disclosure agreements with nine foreign companies to obtain technical information to access the technology. They have yet to identify a site for the nuclear power plant and will identify the site after the public engagement is done and when the government gives the green light to go to the ground.

The government was reported as early as December 2010 to have intentions of building two nuclear power plants. However, the project initially aimed to be completed by 2021 and 2022 was postponed as the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan made the public uneasy. MNPC was formed in January 2011 under the government’s Economic Transformation Programme and acts as a Nuclear Energy Programme Implementing Organisation.

 

Thailand

In February, Thailand’s Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Energy Ministry, said planners still had some concerns about the safety of nuclear power and would keep an eye on how the technology develops in the coming years but have
not discarded nuclear as an option for strengthening the country’s energy security.

In early 2011, a “readiness report” was submitted for the government to make the decision to “Go Nuclear.” However, after Fukushima, the government announced that the decision to continue with the project was postponed for 3 years, and later changed to 6 years. The current PDP 2015 includes 2 units of nuclear power plant, 1000 MW each, the first nuclear power plant would be expected to be in operation in 2035, and the second one in 2036.

 

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

China’s Key Nuclear Focuses For 2016

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

China is undoubtedly the most active country in the global nuclear market in 2015. Within the year, a series of deals were signed between China and UK, Romania, Argentina, and Thailand, which could be a sign of success of China’s “Go Out” strategy. Furthermore, two representatives of Chinese GEN III nuclear technology, which China fully owns the intellectual property rights, Hualong-1 and CAP1400 also entered the market for construction.

So what can we expect for China’s nuclear industry in 2016?

1. Focus and Consolidate in South Africa

South Africa is the most industrialized country in Africa and there is one nuclear power plant in Koeberg near Cape Town which has been operating since the 1980s. In 2007, South Africa first mentioned it was considering to restart its nuclear development project for 8 nuclear power plants. In December 2015, the South African government published its process for procurement. This project in South Africa attracted almost every major nuclear player in the world. EDF (AREVA), Westinghouse, Rosatom, KEPCO, and three Chinese Companies CNNC, CGN, and SNPTC, all proposed their development plan for the project. CGN set up an office in Johannesburg 2010 to signal its strong intention; and in November 2015 during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to South Africa, SNPTC also signed a series of MoUs and agreements with Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa.

What gives China the ambition is experience in construction, project management capability for nuclear new build, stability, abundant financial support and its GEN III technologies. CNNC and CGN intend to build the first Hualong-1 reactor in the African continent and SNPTC also wants to make South Africa a milestone for exporting its CAP1400 technology. However the competition in South Africa is very intense and for this time China has to compete with those sophisticated world-class nuclear players.

Here we can expect China to focus all its resources to ensure they win the project in 2016.

j12. Focus on Demonstrating New Technologies

By the end of 2015, Chinese central government approved the construction ofShidaowan Nuclear Power Plant as a demonstration project for newGEN III technology CAP1400 and High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors (HTR). The construction will commence on March of 2016 and it is expected to operate before 2020. Both CAP1400 and HTR are designed and developed by China itself. That’s why Shidaowan demonstration nuclear power plant is important to everyone in the global nuclear industry.

As a demonstration project, the success of construction and operation will largely enhance the competitiveness of the Chinese nuclear technologies in the world. What’s more, as HTR a brand new technology different with pressurized water reactor or other designs existed before, the success will also encourage the innovation of nuclear technology.
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Shidaowan Nuclear Power Plant: 2 CAP1400 units and 4 HTR units

3. Focus on Executing Five-year Plan

2016 is the first year of China’s 13th five-year plan. Since the 12th, Chinese government has positioned nuclear energy as an alternative resource and the percentage of using nuclear energy will be raised up to 20%. During the 13th five-year, 31 new nuclear units approved will be built, which means China has to construct at least 6 units every year. Although we all have already known the “Chinese Speed”, 6 nuclear reactors is still challenging for China since it is not only the construction but has to reach the very strict safety standards for a nuclear site. This will be a test for China to prove its first class project management ability. That’s why how will China perform to accomplish this task is important for both China and the world.

In addition, 31 units in 5 years absolutely means a very huge potential market.Chinese government forecast it will drive more than 1.2 trillion CNY (180 billion USD) of investment in China’s nuclear industry within the 13th five-year plan.

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4. Focus on Investment Market

In May 2015, CNNC started its IPO and listed in Shanghai stock market whichraised over 16 billion CNY (2.5 billion USD). This is the first nuclear energy stock in Mainland China, and it is also the largest IPO in China over the past 5 years. This showed people’s enthusiasm in the nuclear industry. Actually, in 2014 CGN had already listed in Hong Kong stock market. Previously, nuclear industry in China is tightly attached with politics and military, it was a real space of financing and foreign capital. However, to boost the development of China’s nuclear industry, it has to be opened instead of being exclusive.

It is predictable that the influence from financial part will be more and more significant to the development of China’s nuclear industry. Besides CGN and CNNC, China Nuclear Engineering Corporation, State Power Investment Corporation/SNPTC, and several upper-stream enterprises are all showing their interests to the financial market. 2016 is definitely an important year.

On 24th December, RATCH, a Thai power investment company, signed a contract with CGN to establish a joint venture for FangChenggang Nuclear Power Plant. This is the second nuclear power plant in China has a foreign shareholder after Taishan Nuclear Power Plant which is 30% held by EDF. But not like EDF, RATCH is not a technology provider. This shows us that China’s nuclear industry is becoming more and more opened to the world and I don’t think it could be the single case.

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What is your expectation of China’s nuclear industry in 2016?

China’s nuclear market will be discussed during the 4th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform which will take place 18-19 May 2016 in Hong Kong. Key Chinese nuclear Companies such as CNNC, SNPTC, and Shanghai Electric will be attending.

Opportunities in China’s $1 trillion nuclear power expansion plans

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Nuclear

Is nuclear power on the wane?

While Western countries have been easing-off and some phasing-out nuclear, China on the contrary is moving in the opposite direction. The world’s second largest economy is displaying an aggresive appetite for nuclear investments both domestically and internationally.

Domestically, China plans to almost triple its atomic power generation by the end of the decade and is forecast to spend $1 trillion to expand capacity by 2050. The strategy is outlined in the country’s recent 13th Five-Year Plan.

China will invest over $100 billion to construct around seven new reactors annually between now and 2030. By 2050, nuclear power should exceed 350 GW in that country including about 400 new nuclear reactors.

Internationally, 2015 saw China flex its muscle as a leader in nuclear technology export who could potentially match the Russians.

China signed multi-billion dollars nuclear deals with Argentina, South Africa, Romania, as well as finalising its participation in UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear plant.

  • In October, China General Nuclear (CGN) agreed to invest $9 bn in EDF Hinkley C nuclear power station which is slated to deliver two giant 1600 MW Areva EPRs by the middle of the next decade
  • In November, China, represented by China National Nuclear Corporation concluded a $15bn deal with Argentina for the construction of two nuclear units
  • The same month CGN agreed to build two reactors in Romania worth $7.7bn in investment
  • Regulators in South Africa and China signed a technical cooperation agreement in mid-November. China is in the race for the South African NPP construction program, which is worth up to $ 50bn. China hopes to land the contract using its CAP1400 nuclear technology, which is designed by Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute

It is evident that the Chinese nuclear market is presenting unrivalled opportunities for the global nuclear industry, both domestically and internationally.
Keen to be part of China’s nuclear ambitions?

Find out how at the 4th annual Asia Nuclear Business Platform next 18-19 May 2016 where key stakeholders from the Chinese nuclear industry such as CNNC, SNPTC, Shanghai Electric will be attending and sharing their plans.

Aggressiveness in the Global Nuclear Market – Who will be CGN’s next target?

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC), firstly named China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation which was founded in 1994, is one of the three major nuclear corporations in China. This year, the most eye-catching deal signed with UK on Hinkley Point C is undoubtedly a milestone for the company in the global market. CGN is becoming one of the most aggressive international nuclear companies since the government highlighted its “Go-out” strategy.

International Cooperation on Funding Project

The start of CGN’s international cooperation, in retrospect, could be Daya Bay nuclear power plant which was built in 1990s. Daya Bay nuclear site is a joint-venture program that is 75% owned by CGN and 25% owned by CLP which is a Hong Kong company.

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After the corporation’s name was changed in 2013, CGN has commenced its new journey. The first country that CGN has approached is Namibia, where a joint capital was established for the uranium mining and exploitation. In 2015 CGN invested USD 13,000 at Namibian Institute of Mining Technology for further cooperation and human resources training.

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The Namibian President visiting CGN Swakop Urinium

Then in September 2014 CGN submitted its offer to build the two units in Cernavoda, Romania, and was accepted as a Qualified Investor. In October, the Romanian Company Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectric (SNN) designated CGN as the “selected investor” for the project and the two companies signed a letter of intent to proceed. In November 2015 the two companies signed a further agreement for the development, construction, operation and decommissioning of Cernavoda 3&4. The project joint venture will be at least 51% CGN. SNN and CGN said the €7.2 billion agreement also moves the project closer to the organisation of project financing and selection of investors.

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Cernavoda nuclear power plant, Romania

When it entered China’s 13th five-year plan in 2015, CGN has accelerated its step on “Going-out” with oversea investment.  The £6 billion deal signed with UK on Hinkley Point C is the achievement that CGN will benefit a lot (How will CGN benefit from it? Read my previous post: Triple Win, How Will the Hinkley Point C Deal Impact Nuclear Development in China, UK & France).

Kenya, as an African leading country, has entered a new high-speed developing phase. To solve the energy problem, the country shows big interest in the nuclear energy. In 2010, an investigation group of Kenya government visited Daya Bay nuclear power plant and signed cooperation memorandum of understanding immediately with CGN. As China’s important market and partner, in the MoU,CGN will enable Kenya 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. In addition, Kenya will obtain first-hand knowledge of China’s nuclear power technology.

International Cooperation on Research & Design

The CPR1000 is a significantly upgraded version of the 900 MWe-class French M310 three-loop technology imported for the Daya Bay nuclear power plant. CGN leads the research and design of CPR1000 in China, but the intellectual right is still owned by Areva. The Advanced-CPR1000 (ACPR1000) was launched by CGN in 2011, of which CGN owns the intellectual right. ACPR1000 was finally merged with China National Nuclear Corporation’s technology ACP1000, and that is Hualong-1.

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an ACPR1000 reactor being built in Yangjiang nuclear power plant

In October 2008, Areva and CGN announced establishment of an engineering joint venture as a technology transfer vehicle for development of the EPR and possibly other PWR plants in China and later abroad. The Wecan JV, 55% CGN subsidiary China Nuclear Power Engineering Co. and 45% Areva, was set up in December 2009 and based in Shenzhen. Two EPRs in Taishan nuclear power plant are both under construction and they are expect to start their operation in two years.

Who will be CGN’s Next Target?

Included in China’s “Belt and Road”, infrastructure in South East Asia is an important plan for China. Since several SEA countries like Indonesia, Malaysia declared their nuclear energy plan, CGN has been working closely with those countries.

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China’s “One Belt One Road” Initiative

As one of the BRICS, South Africa, who has experience of developing nuclear industry, also reiterated its plan on new built nuclear power plant. CGN has set up an office in South Africa, and during the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit, the manage team of CGN also met with related South African corporations.

What’s your opinion towards CGN in the global nuclear market?

China’s nuclear “Going-out” will be discussed during the 4th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform which will take place 18-19 May 2016 in Hong Kong.

An interview with Doug True, Executive Vice President, Power Services Group, JENSEN HUGHES

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Interview, Nuclear

Doug True 1
Doug True is the Executive Vice President of JENSEN HUGHES. Mr. True has over 35 years of experience in engineering, safety analysis, operations, and security of a variety of nuclear facilities. He has been the technical director of numerous large scale risk analysis projects ranging from nuclear power plant risk assessments to security risk assessments to chemical process industry safety analyses. Mr. True has been a major contributor to U.S. risk-informed regulatory policies and industry best practices in risk management. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.

 

 

Could you briefly share what risk-informed decisions in nuclear operations and safety mean?

Traditionally, safety and operational decisions have been made under prescribed deterministic requirements applied to stylized accident scenarios, such as demonstrating the capability of safety systems under the assumption of a single failure, strict surveillance and test intervals, specific equipment allowed outage times, etcetera. While these requirements have been successful in establishing the safety of nuclear power plants, they were established in the absence of a comprehensive assessment of the contributors to risks. This has limited the flexibility in both design and operations – the regulations specified how the plant would comply. The availability of plant-specific Probabilistic Safety Assessments (PSAs) provides an integrated view of plant safety that is not possible to obtain with deterministic techniques. Thus, the risk-informed view illuminates where a plant may have safety weaknesses and where a plant may have additional safety robustness. In risk-informed (and performance-based) decisions the regulator specifies what must be achieved, which is to demonstrate that the risk is acceptably low, and that defense-in-depth and sufficient safety margins are maintained. The plant owner/operator can determine, within limits specified by the regulator, how they wish to achieve this.

 

Why is it important?

There are two reasons. First and foremost is safety. It has been demonstrated that the deterministic requirements that result in the design basis for the plant do not assure low risk or balanced risk. Every significant accident that has occurred has been caused by something that was beyond the assumptions in the design basis, either in terms of the event itself or the subsequent equipment failures or human actions. Further, risk assessments have shown that some beyond design basis events and accident scenarios are not as unlikely as we would have liked to believe. In terms of balancing risk, the risk assessments have shown that deterministic safety criteria, such as the single failure criterion, does not make all failures equal in importance to safety. For example, diesels are not as reliable as pumps, and loss of offsite power is more likely than large LOCA, so having only two emergency diesel generators is not the same as having two low pressure safety injection pumps when it comes to balancing risk. Utilizing risk-informed decisions for safety focusses resources on those areas that will result in the greatest safety significance and identifies those areas where the resource commitment exceeds the value of safety that is being provided.The second reason is operational efficiency. The strict design basis requirements for things like allowed outage times for equipment and surveillance test intervals result in significant costs and plant outage time. In many cases these are not commensurate with the risk associated with them. In the US, risk-informed processes have allowed many changes to these deterministic requirements at great cost savings with no decrease in safety. In fact, the evidence in the US is that the risk-informed focus has actually improved safety by increasing the focus on the risk significant equipment and plant configurations. Using risk-informed processes for allowed outage times permits plants to manage overall configurations as opposed to using the status of individual pieces of equipment, which allows more maintenance activities to be performed in parallel. It also allows changes to surveillance test intervals and for maintenance to be shifted from refueling outages to on-line, again with no degradation in safety. This has resulted in shortening the length of refueling outages in the US to the point that the critical path becomes just what it required to move the fuel, not other maintenance activities.

The bottom line is that safety resources are being used more effectively, safety is always being maintained, and operational flexibility is saving the US nuclear fleet millions of dollars every year. As the number of risk-informed applications increases, this trend is becoming even more pronounced.

 

What has changed since Fukushima?

Before Fukushima there was a general feeling in most countries that the design basis process for external hazards was sufficient to assure safety. There was a general belief that beyond design basis external events were incredible and so did not really have to be worried about. It was a deterministic belief – the design basis event was the worst challenge likely to happen and the plant was designed to withstand it; beyond design basis events were so unlikely as to not pose a problem that needed to be considered. Fukushima changed that. Now we understand that there is enough uncertainty in our understanding of the frequency and severity of external hazards that beyond design basis external events can be a significant contributor to plant risk; these events are not necessarily of very low frequency, and some plants may not have much margin above the design basis events. The only way to understand the risks from external hazards comes from performing risk analyses, and the only way to effectively address the risks in an effective and cost-efficient way is by using a risk-informed decision process.

 

What is the current global trend in risk management approach in nuclear operations?

As you might imagine, it varies greatly from country-to-country. Essentially every country requires its plants to perform at least a probabilistic safety assessment for what we call internal events – those random events that result from failures of plant equipment and operator errors. Many countries require most or all of their plants to have PSAs for internal floods and internal fires. PSAs for external hazards, such as seismic, external flood, winds, etcetera are based on considerations of the site vulnerability to such hazards. However, until recently only a few countries used those PSAs for operational risk management. That trend is changing. The US industry is very aggressive in promoting risk-informed applications, and the USNRC has established a risk-informed regulatory framework in which such applications can be implemented. China is moving forward at an ever quickening pace looking at these applications, and some initial ones have been approved by or submitted to NNSA, the regulator in China. Other countries are using it more and more for improvements in beyond design basis safety, but have not yet moved as quickly to allow greater operational flexibility. This too is changing, but it will take time to break down the bias towards the overly prescriptive deterministic requirements that have been in place for so many years.

 

What is the common misconception about risk-informed practices as a risk-management tool in the nuclear industry?

That’s easy. It is the misconception that risk-informed processes are somehow less rigorous and defensible than deterministic requirements; that it is easy to manipulate the risk analysis to get the answer you want and use that to make plants less safe in return for saving money. Nothing could be further from the truth. A truly risk-informed process is very robust, and involves much more than doing a PSA calculation and getting risk numbers. There are requirements for detailed reviews, submittals, checks and balances, and the involvement of many plant departments and management. All decisions involve not just the risk numbers, but a focus on risk insights, assurances of the maintenance of defense-in-depth and safety margins as well as compliance with current regulations. Yes, they help plants save money, but never at the expense of safety, and in fact they result in improved safety by focusing attention on those aspects of the plant design and operations that are most significant to maintaining the risk low.

 

Lastly, JENSEN HUGHES will be speaking on Optimizing Safety and Financial Performance Through Risk-informed Decision Making at ANBP 2016. What can participants expect to hear and learn from the presentation?

We will be speaking about what risk-informed decision making actually is and why that is the approach that has been adopted rather than risk-based regulation. This includes how risk-informed decision-making works in concert with traditional safety concepts such as defense-in-depth and safety margins. We will share the many lessons-learned about risk-informed applications in the US and, based on that, what it takes to develop and implement a risk-informed decision process, including examples of the successes that we have participated in that show how costs are reduced without reducing safety. We will touch on the structure of such programs, the organizational interfaces that are required, and the need to communicate and socialize these programs with all the stakeholders including within the owner/operators, the regulators, and the public. We hope to stimulate some interesting questions and discussion both during and after the session.

 

jhlogoJENSEN HUGHES is an industry leading provider of specialty risk management, engineering design, and engineering program services for the built environment, with over 800 staff serving customers globally through more than 40 offices worldwide, including Japan, China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and UAE. Our thought leading experts are known throughout the international nuclear community for developing and implementing creative risk-informed engineering policies, procedures, methods, software and applications to achieve cost-effective and flexible solutions to optimize both safety and operations of nuclear power plants. Coupled with our expertise in fire protection systems and programs, engineering design, first responder training, regulatory submittals and our fire testing laboratory, we are one of the world’s most experienced specialty engineering consulting firm. www.jensenhughes.com

Insights to China’s Biggest Nuclear Company—-CNNC

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

Company profile

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) is the largest state-owned enterprise under the direct management of the central government headquartered in Beijing. The company was officially formed in 1999, mainly engaged in scientific research and development, design and construction, production and operation in various fields such as nuclear military industry, nuclear power, nuclear electricity generation, nuclear fuels and nuclear technology application, as well as international economic cooperation and import and export businesses. CNNC has over 100 secondary member units across over 20 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities with over 100,000 employees. The net profit of CNNC in 2013 is 6.71 billion yuan (USD1.05 billion).

Technology

Second Generation: CNNC had been working with Westinghouse and Areva at Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute (SNERDI) since the early 1990s to develop a Chinese standard three loop, second generation PWR design, the CNP1000. This is developed from the two loop Qinshan CNP unit with high burn­up, 18­month refuelling cycle and 20 more (but shorter) fuel assemblies than the French reactor M310 units at Daya Bay and LingAo.

Third Generation: The Westinghouse AP1000 is the main basis of China’s move to Generation III technology. It is a 1250MWe gross reactor with two coolant loops. In October 2011 CNNC announced that its independently developed ACP1000 which adopted the AP1000 design was entering the engineering design stage, with 1100MWe nominal power and load following capability. In May 2013 CNNC finished a preliminary safety analysis report, and was working on construction design in order to be ready for construction by the end of the year.

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Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant

Since 2011, several rounds of negotiation between CNNC and CGNPC have grappled with the task of “merging” these two designs, ACP1000 from CNNC and ACPR1000 from CGN. Both of them are three-loop pressurized water reactors, and the merged design was named Hualong-1. The Hualong-1 is designed to have 177 fuel assemblies 3.66 m long, 18-24 month refuelling interval, equilibrium fuel load will be 72 assemblies with 4.45% enriched fuel, and three coolant loops delivering 3150 MWt, 1150 MWe, double containment and active safety systems with some passive elements, and a 60-year design life. (Read my previous article about Hualong-1 reactor)

SMR & New Technology: A ‘key project’ on the 12th Five-year plan is CNNC’s multi­purpose small modular reactor, the ACP100. The design is based on the larger ACP units, or AP1000, has passive safety features and will be installed underground (Read my previous article about SMR in China). As a part of the 13th Five-year plan, CNNC signed a contract with TerraPower on September of 2015 about a enhancing the cooperation between these two countries in the nuclear field which includes the development of 4th generation fast neutron reactor technology.

(Read my previous article about China’s nuclear technology development)

Domestic market participation

Nuclear Power Plants: Today, CNNC has totally 13 reactor units in China under operation and 3 main nuclear energy hubs in Qinshan, Daya Bay, and Sanmen.

Table: All reactor units operated and constructed in China owned by CNNC

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Nuclear Supply Chain: Besides the nuclear power plant operation and management, CNNC is involved in the entire nuclear supply chain in China. CNNC owns or holds shares of 268 companies in China including China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (CNEC) for nuclear site construction, China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation (CNEIC) for nuclear international trade, Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) and several other institute for research, and nuclear equipment production companies.

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Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant

Global market participation

CNNC is the first Chinese nuclear company that entered the global nuclear market. In 2000, CNNC supplied the Chashma unit 2 in Pakistan. The main part of the plant was designed by Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI), based on Qinshan I. CNNC in April 2013 announced another export agreement for the ACP1000, nominally 1100MWe, for Pakistan. This was confirmed in June by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) which said that the next nuclear project would be 1100MWe class units which it would build, the Karachi Coastal Power station, costing $9.5 billion. In April 2015, this program was confirmed to use Hualong-1 reactor, which will make it the first time Hualong-1 reactor being built out of China.

On 15 November 2015, during the G20 Summit in Turkey, the Argentine government officially signed the $14 billion contract with CNNC to build two nuclear reactors including a Hualong-1 reactor. China will finance 85 percent of the construction costs of both plants.

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(Read my previous article about China in the global nuclear market)

“One Belt One Road” and “Going Out” Strategy: China’s “One Belt One Road” strategy is a big international plan to enhance cooperation and develop together with the countries on the line. Nuclear industry as a part of energy industry, is on a very strategically important position. As the leader of China’s nuclear industry, “One Belt One Road” will provide CNNC a huger platform to deepen its international cooperation.

What do you think of China National Nuclear Corporation?

Lin Sen, Director General of CNNC Department of International Business, is an Advisory Board member of the 4th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform which will take place 18-19 May 2016 in Hong Kong.

China’s Nuclear Supply Chain Movement: from Localization to Globalization

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

“Going Out” is currently the biggest hit world of China’s nuclear industry, which includes not only the reactor technology (read my previous article about China’s nuclear technology going out) or China’s huge nuclear financing but also the nuclear upstream industry. But before the industry can go out of China, it should dominate the domestic market at first.

From 1% to 80%

China has declared its technological self-sufficiency target since the first nuclear power plant Qinshan Phase I was built in 1980s. However, for China’s biggest nuclear project in 1990s Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant, only 1% of the operation equipment is produced domestically. Few years later, when China started to build Lingao Nuclear Power Plant Phase I next to the Daya Bay project, 30% of the power plant installations were manufactured in Chinese factory.

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In 2006, Chinese government set up the goal for Hongyanhe nuclear program to reach 75% self-sufficiency rate by cooperative working of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC), and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) to develop their own technology of large forging devices and nuclear-level valve. In the following few years, almost all core technologies of nuclear power plant has got a breakthrough in China by deepened independent research and widened international corporation.

When it comes to 2010s, the embarking of China’s nuclear power plants project brought a big prosperity for civil-use nuclear equipment industry. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology statistics, in 2014, Chinese company supplied 80% of the equipment for current nuclear power plants construction.

As for the Hualong-1 reactor which was designed and developed by China alone in Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant, all core equipment used in conventional island and nuclear island is manufactured by Chinese enterprises. For example, pressure vessels are produced by China First Heavy Industries, steam generator and conventional island turbine are supplied by Dongfang Electric Corporation, and the main pump is manufactured by Harbin Electric Corporation. Over 85% of the unit are Chinese.

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(Hualong-1 reactor in Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant)

From the Internal to Global Market

According to China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (read my previous analysis about Opportunities of China’s Nuclear Industry Seen from China’s Next Five-Year Plan), China’s total installed capacity of nuclear energy should reach 58 million kW by the end of 2020, additionally with 30 million kW of nuclear power reactors under construction. This target urges China to build 6-8 nuclear reactor units per year. When reflected into the nuclear equipment manufacturing industry, over 40 billion Chinese yuan (US$6.2 billion) has spent by the industry as the budget for research and development said by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. It is very exciting to see the outcome of the 40 billion budget will effect.

 

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“Nuclear power equipment, to a certain extent, represent the highest technological level of the manufacturing industry. To realize China’s “Go Out” strategy, to the nuclear industry, it is not only about the reactor technology but also importantly depending on nuclear equipment producing ability” , said the Chief Engineer of China Machinery Industry Federation.
Now, in my opinion, China has the comprehensive production capacity to meet the internal needs and Going-Out needs, and I believe it could be a new normal for China’s nuclear manufacturing industry.

Do you agree?
Or do you think that western companies can play a role in China’s export ambitions?

China’s nuclear supply chain will be discussed during the 4th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform which will take place 18-19 May 2016 in Hong Kong.

Key Opportunities of China’s Nuclear Industry Seen from China’s Next Five-Year Plan

Written by Jeremy Kang Deng. Posted in Nuclear

The thirteenth Five-Year Development Plan for 2016-2020 of China has been discussed broadly since it had been released this year, of which the nuclear industry is a significant component. As the Director General of IAEA Yukiya Amano said recently, “The development of nuclear energy is shifting increasingly toward Asia with China playing a central role”, China shows the world great opportunities in its nuclear industry.

1. China’s Nuclear Construction Target

Based on the plan, China’s total installed capacity of nuclear energy should reach 58 million kW by the end of 2020, additionally with 30 million kW of nuclear power reactors under construction. This target urges China to build 6-8 nuclear reactor units per year. Today there are 28 nuclear reactor units operated, of which the installed capacity is 24 million kW.

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Besides, the inland nuclear power plant program will be approved in the next five years. 12 inland province have announced their nuclear power plant plans of which 31 sites have been proven the feasibility.

With the rapid and aggressive construction plans, the Chinese might turn to international vendors to improve operations, capacity factors and supply chain matters.

2. China’s Nuclear Investment Target

On June 2015, a new round of IPO of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) shocked the whole stock market. According to a company statement posted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s website, the company locked up 1.69 trillion yuan ($273 billion) in bids for its IPO. The offering may be the biggest in China since August 2010. The plan’s target of 58 million kW of nuclear power capacity is expected to increase economic investment directly with 1.2 trillion yuan ($189 billion) into the nuclear industry.

The investment will not only involved to nuclear power plants, but will also be related to the entire value chain of the nuclear industry from start to end. Nuclear technology education, nuclear site construction, nuclear fuel and power plant equipment supply all could be a part of the investment.

3. China’s Nuclear International Cooperation Target

Last month President of China Xi Jinping visited the United States with a team of top Chinese enterprises including CNNC. A technology cooperation agreement was signed between CNNC and Terrapower to develop and commercialize together the fast neutron reactor technology. On 21 Oct, when President Xi is visiting the United Kingdom, another contract of China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) holding 33.5% shares of Hinkley Point C and building a Hualong-1 reactor unit in Bradwell B was signed.

He Yu, the president of CGN commented the contract as a milestone of China’s nuclear industry that China’s nuclear technology could be recognized by such a developed country with a long history about nuclear technology. In the next five years, China will continue its steps going out.

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Today, there are over 40 countries who do not have nuclear energy but have the plan of it, which is regarded as a big opportunity for China’s nuclear industry enlarging its international shares.

As one of the countries, Kenya has signed a memorandum of understanding with CGN about nuclear cooperation this year in September. As a part of the deal, China will provide support of financing, nuclear education, site selection and nuclear power plant construction to this African country. Besides, China has also built a cooperative relationship with Argentina and Romania on nuclear new build programs earlier this year that CGN will invest about 6 billion euro in Romanian Cernavoda nuclear power plant and CNNC will provide a long-term technology, equipment, and financing service to achieve Argentina’s nuclear plan.

China’s is keen to increase their nuclear export and be a leader in the market. This could potentially open opportunities for international firms to partner with the Chinese in the export market.

4. China’s Nuclear Technology Development Target

China’s nuclear technology was planned to focus on two parts in the next few years. One is to enhance the safety assurance technology of a nuclear power plant, including the research on nuclear power plant emergency response system and comprehensive and accurate radiation monitoring devices. On the other hand, this plan also mentioned that China will put more efforts on nuclear technology education and international human resources communication.

The emphasis for next five years is still on further improvement of Hualong-1 technology which was independently designed and developed by China. There are 6 units of Hualong-1 have been proven to build in China by the government so far, of which the unit in Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant and Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Plant have all commenced their construction.

With the influence of the Fukushima disaster, during the twelfth Five-Year, the development of nuclear industry in China was slowed down and more focused on the security of operation. 5 years later after the disaster, China finally shows its enthusiasm of nuclear energy, as well as those big opportunities in this country.

Do you agree?

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.

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