Conversations from Shanghai – International Atomic Energy Agency

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

Ayhan Evrensel is a communication adviser with the International Atomic Energy Agency. While in Shanghai for Asia Nuclear Business Platform, he participated in a panel on battling societal perceptions of the risks of nuclear power projects and sat down with us to talk about the importance of stakeholder involvement.

Asia Nuclear Business Platform (ANBP): How important is stakeholder involvement?

Ayhan Evrensel (AE): In my department we deal with the whole fuel cycle – from uranium to waste, through power and research reactors. In all the steps of the nuclear fuel cycle, for power generation and research reactors, stakeholder involvement is a very, very important issue for IAEA member states. It’s actually embedded in the IAEA safety standards produced by the member states and it is a key recommendation for countries new to nuclear power.

In 2007, we came up with a guidance for member states that goes step by step through nuclear decision making. This Milestones Approach defines three phases – consider, prepare, construct – and all the steps that need to be taken to launch a nuclear power program. Once they decide, we go through with them in closing their own gaps – in strengthening their infrastructure – in 19 clearly identified issues throughout the three phases. And one of those 19 technical issues is stakeholder involvement. So for us, stakeholder engagement is as important as legal infrastructure, as the grid system, as waste management policy, etc.

ANBP: Do you see a growing awareness of the importance of stakeholder involvement?

AE: Yes, I think so. IAEA Member States that are now either considering or are embarking on a nuclear power program see the importance of it because absence of securing support could simply put projects to a halt. The former approach of “decide and defend” just does not work. This is a notion that the operating countries learned the hard way, and the newcomer countries are learning – hopefully not the hard way – because there are numerous examples of what not to do. There are several nuclear power plants that were constructed but never went into operation. And for a good deal of those, stakeholder involvement played an important role. So, the newcomers don’t want to repeat these mistakes. The IAEA is a great hub for this learning. We take people from operating countries, together with people from newcomer states, to share experiences, best practices and mistakes, and build programs and projects that are started with buy-in from various stakeholders, including national entities, research bodies, as well as the public.

ANBP: How important is what’s happening in Asia to the future of nuclear energy?

AE: Asia currently is the engine of nuclear power’s expansion. Two thirds of the new builds currently taking place are happening in Asia. China is the leading country of those. If we take China, India, Pakistan, South Korea, it’s clear Asia is the engine. It’s where nuclear power is on a boom. The expansion of energy demand is big and nuclear power is taking a share of that, whereas in other parts of the world, nuclear power is kind of in stagnation or decline. But overall, globally, for the first time last year, the IAEA’s low projections showed a decline in installed nuclear power capacity for 2030, 2040 and 2050. As much as we see a massive buildout happening, the projections for nuclear power’s future are likely to go down for 2030, 2040 and 2050. And I think that’s an important message for decision-makers around the globe:, if they still want to have their energy security, if they want to fulfil their climate commitments and meet their sustainable development goals, nuclear power has a crucial role to play in the future electricity mix.

Conversations from Shanghai is a series of interviews with key participants and speakers from the 2018 edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform which took place 8-11 May 2018 in Shanghai, China. It was conducted by the PR Agency, Potomac Communications Group. Nuclear Business Platform moves to Mumbai, India next for India Nuclear Business Platform this 9-10 October 2018

NPCIL awards $501m contracts to KSB, L&T, BHEL, RInfra in 2018

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has embarked on an ambitious program of 12 PHWR 700 MW projects at various locations throughout the country. NPCIL is responsible for design, construction, commissioning and operation of nuclear power reactors in India.

Over the past 7 months, NPCIL has awarded contracts worth $501m for their new-build programmes. More contracts are poised to be awarded with the Indian nuclear power programme gathering momentum. Below is a summary of contracts which have been awarded this year.

Earlier this year in February, NPCIL awarded an order worth $64m to KSB Pumps Limitedfor the supply of eight primary coolant pumps – RSR 400/2 and related accessories. These pumps will be installed at NPCIL’s Gorakhpur Anu Vidyut Pariyojana 1 & 2 project in Haryana. Manufacturing of the pumps will commence at KSB’s Energy Pumps Division in Shirwal, near Pune. Delivery of these pumps is expected to commence in June 2021 with a target to complete the order by March 2023.

A month later in March, engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) won a $109m order from NPCIL to supply steam generators and end shields for its indigenously designed 700 MWe Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR) to be set up at Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP) in Fatehabad district of Haryana. Steam generator is a critical equipment of the nuclear power facility that generates steam by using heat produced in a reactor core, while end shield is used to prevent the direct radiation coming out from a reactor core.

That same month, Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) secured a significant order worth $107m for supply of Steam Generators from NPCIL. The Steam Generators will be used for a 700 MWe Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) to be installed at Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojna (GHAVP) in Fatehabad district of Haryana. The steam generators will be manufactured at the Tiruchirappalli plant of BHEL. Currently, BHEL manufactured Steam Turbine Generator sets contribute nearly half of the country’s total installed Nuclear power capacity.

In April 2018, Reliance Infrastructure received a $158m purchase order from NPCIL for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for Common Services System, Structure & Components (SSC) package and allied civil works of Unit -3 and 4 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. The contract entails design, engineering, supply, erection, testing and commissioning of SSC package and allied civil works on EPC basis. The project is to be commissioned in 56 months.

Later in June, BGR Energy Systems secured two orders worth $63m from NPCIL for to engineering, manufacturing, procurement, transportation and storage among other activities of 400KV and 230KV Switchyards and BoP electrical areas for Tamil Nadu’s Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant’s Units 3 and 4. The completion period for this contract is 60 months.

Westinghouse, EDF and Rosatom are also planning to build more reactors in India. Westinghouse plans to build six AP1000 reactors in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh while EDF plans to build 6 EPRs worth $17bn in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. Rosatom is already participating in the construction of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant and has committed to building 6 plants in Kudankulam

Mr. S K Sharma, Chairman & Managing Director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has confirmed his attendance at India Nuclear Business Platform (INBP) which will take place 9-10 October 2018 at The Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai, India. Mr. Sharma will deliver a Keynote address on ,“New build program of NPCIL – Status & Challenges ahead”.


Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is a public sector enterprise under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India. The company operates six nuclear power stations: Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) (2x BWR, 2 x PHWR) in Maharashtra; Rajasthan (RAPS) (6 x PHWR) in Rajasthan, Madras (MAPS) (2 x PHWR) in Tamil Nadu, Narora (NAPS) (2 x PHWR) in Uttar Pradesh, Kakrapar (KAPS) (6xPHWR) in Gujarat and Kaiga (4 x PHWR) in Karnataka. In total NPCIL operates 22 commercial nuclear power reactors. The reactor fleet comprises two Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and 18 Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs). Another 4 reactors are under construction.

To learn more about NPCIL, please visit

Conversations from Shanghai – Copenhagen Atomics

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

Thomas Jam Pedersen, founder and chairman of Copenhagen Atomics, gave a fascinating talk on his vision for using spent nuclear fuel and building out an advanced nuclear future. He sat down with Asia Nuclear Business Platform to talk about his inspiration.

Asia Nuclear Business Platform (ANBP): What drove you to look at molten salt reactors? What’s the “why” driving your work?

Thomas Jam Pedersen (TJP): Energy is really important for creating prosperity. A lot of the problems we see around the world could be solved, to some extent, at least mitigated, if we have more energy, clean water, etc. The Copenhagen Atomics team thinks that if we have access to all of these nice things – a house with heaters, AC, food, transportation, all that stuff, it would be nice if the rest of the world’s population had access to the same. Really, we see an opportunity – if there’s enough energy – to achieve these things.

So, we started asking questions. Is there enough energy? Maybe there’s not. This has nothing to do with politics. It’s a physical problem. Is there enough oil and gas? Not for the long-term. If eight billion people were to use as much oil as the average citizen in the U.S., it’s pretty difficult to imagine achieving that a low price. Then you examine other energy sources. We looked at wind and solar. I looked at that before I started this project. So, for a number of years I had been looking at this energy problem asking how it could be solved. And then I stumbled upon thorium energy. And I thought this can’t be true. It sounds too good to be true. If it was that simple, why didn’t the existing nuclear industry go that route? And why are the existing reactors so big and so expensive?

ANBP: You’ve said you were really impressed and inspired by the Hanford B Reactor. Tell me about the experience of visiting and what that meant?

TJP: It was just last summer I visited. I had heard from someone it had been opened as a public museum and I was going there, to the U.S., for vacation with my kids. So, I said, we’ve got to plan this vacation so that I get a day at Hanford. Of course, I’d read about it before and I’ve read about the stories from the Manhattan Project, but being there, and seeing the actual thing and listening to some old timers there that are guiding the tours, and they’re telling these stories about the thing when it was actually running, it really gave you the impression of how things were built and how simple it was in the beginning.

Being there in front of that reactor – a 2.5 GW reactor – and thinking this is something we could build today really easily. And even back then, they tell you, that without any of the tools we have today, they built it in 11 months. You can’t help but think that this is not difficult technology…. Being there looking at the Hanford reactor and realizing they built in 11 months and it ran for 25 years without an accident, I thought we must be doing something wrong today. That’s obvious. What we are doing wrong is not really the engineering. We could build the Hanford reactor again tomorrow, if we’re allowed to, but we’re not. We put up rules and regulations for ourselves that have made it incredibly expensive and difficult to build anything.

ANBP: You use the analogy – while you admit it’s an imperfect one – that we build 200,000 cars a day. That humans have the capacity to build out manufacturing to meet big challenges. Do you see the nuclear industry ever getting there?

TJP: I don’t see the nuclear industry – the light water reactor industry – ever getting there. But I do see the molten salt reactor as an option. It’s a low-pressure design. Low pressure, it makes it a lot less complex, a lot smaller. Something that you can build in one factory, put on a truck and drive away and install it. The possibility of assembly-line manufacturing is just a whole different game.

When you want to build a LWR nuclear reactor today, you hire 4,000 people put them in one big site. And for everyone, it’s the first time they’ve built this kind of reactor. It takes 10 years, and many of these projects in the U.S. and in Europe are delayed. Workers are laid off. New ones have to be hired a year later. It’s just about the most expensive way you could build anything. The whole way it’s managed is fundamentally wrong…. Nuclear energy will never really matter in the big picture before we get to assembly line production.

Conversations from Shanghai is a series of interviews with key participants and speakers from the 2018 edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform which took place 8-11 May 2018 in Shanghai, China. It was conducted by the PR Agency, Potomac Communications Group. Nuclear Business Platform moves to Mumbai, India next for India Nuclear Business Platform this 9-10 October 2018

Playing the Leading Role in the Global Nuclear Industry – China’s Innovation for Advanced Passive Reactor

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 61st General Conference of IAEA in Vienna. As one of the member states, China was represented by China Atomic Energy Agency (CAEA) and the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC).

During one of the side events, the Senior Vice President of SNPTC Dr. Zheng Mingguang gave a presentation which gave an overview of the current stage of China’s nuclear industry and compared the different reactor technologies designed by China. With Fuqing Unit 4 commissioned in August this year, there is currently 37 reactors operating in China and 19 reactors under construction which is more than any other country in the world. Unlike others, China does not undertake only one certain nuclear reactor type. Instead there are different designs of reactor being developed simultaneously in China, including CAP1400, Hualong-1, High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor, VVER which was adopted from Russia, and CANDU the heavy water reactor which was adopted from Canada.

The National Middle & Long Term Key Project-CAP1400

CAP1400 was designed based on the passive 2-loop GEN III reactor AP1000. Development of CAP1400 including the design & equipment developed to meet with the Chinese-standards. According to the design, CAP1400 has less number of welding, less spare parts, and less waste generated. The operation flexibility was also enhanced after Fukushima.

Another important feature of CAP1400 which was emphasized during the presentation is the better economy. After the localization of its supply chain, and the strategic supplier assessment, the economics of CAP1400 construction is projected to be better controlled. It is estimated as USD 3000 per kW of the output cost in China.

China’s Ambassador to UN Vienna Mr. Shi Zhongjun commented during the conference as “the National Key Project of large-scale advanced passive PWR is a strategic arrangement of China being a strong power of the global nuclear industry and achieving the leapfrog development of the nuclear technology.”

Up to date, the design of CAP1400 has been approved by China National Energy Administration and it has passed the reactor safety assessment of IAEA. The CAP1400 demonstration nuclear power plant site-design in Rongchen has been 96% accomplished and ready for construction.

China’s Innovation on Small Module Reactors

SNP350 is the advanced technology applied for CNP300 which China has constructed in Chashma, Pakistan. SNP350 is designed to meet all the latest regulations, standards and requirements, with most advanced design methods and tools, modern material, manufacturing process, measuring instrument and control system. It has the features of better balancing, better risk control, and simplified operation and maintenance.

CNP300, designed by SNERDI,at Chashma Nuclear Power Plant, Pakistan

CAP200 is also an innovation which aims to replace thermal plants. Compare to other reactors, CAP200 is more flexible to have extensive site adaptability. It contains 32m deep underground structure with seismic isolation layer to ensure its better natural disaster resistance.

Suggestions for a Better Future of the Nuclear Industry

During the presentation, the Chinese representatives also shared the suggestions on the future development of the industry. One of the interesting point is that the future development should be divided into two directions, with the large-scale project being constructed, small-scaled reactor should be focused in the near-city area. With the multiple applications of heating, cooling, desalination etc. SMR in the future can play a very important role to be involved in our daily life.

Today, more and more people in the nuclear industry are putting their attention on China. As I see, China has taken the responsibility well to lead the development of global nuclear industry. We can see China’s effort on developing safer, more reliable, more sustainable, more scalable, and more economic nuclear power reactor technology.

Do you have any questions or interesting opinion with regards to China’s nuclear industry?

China’s newly published Nuclear Safety Law: “Strict” ?

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

In early September, China’s National Congress approved the first law for nuclear safety and security in China, and it will take effect from 1st January 2018, which will effectively put an end to the no-law-to-apply history of China’s nuclear industry.

What is in the nuclear safety law?

It is an extensive piece of legislature comprising of 8 sections and 94 articles written on nuclear safety law. They include:

  • General principles
  • Safety of nuclear materials and radioactive waste
  • Nuclear accident contingency
  • Information management and public participation
  • Supervision and inspection
  • Legal liability
  • Supplementary articles.

For the content, the Nuclear Safety Law clarifies the duty and qualification of nuclear operators in China. It notes the standards of the nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. The Nuclear Accident Contingency Committee and the nuclear accident contingency process are also elaborated in the safety law. Besides, in-land nuclear power plant and coastal nuclear power plant are not differentiated in the law. This would imply that in-land nuclear power plant built in China will have to adhere to the same safety standard as coastal nuclear power plants.

An important point to note, it is also spelt out clearly in the nuclear safely law that no one (citizen, legal person, organization) can spread false nuclear accident information in China. The penalty for doing so will be up to CNY 5 million (USD760k). Other incidents such as radioactive pollution and betrayal by leaking confidential information, will also be subjected to severe financial penalties.

To give an example, Chinese nuclear power plant operators are supposed to apply for a permission from the State Council supervision department before proceeding with activities like nuclear power plant site selection, construction, operation, and decommissioning, Besides, the law also requires that each Chinese nuclear operator needs to set aside enough fund as an insurance for any nuclear accident contingency.

Government’s attitude towards nuclear safety law

This new-published China Nuclear Safety Law is a milestone in the legislation in China’s nuclear industry. The Deputy Director of China National Nuclear Safety Administration Guo Chengzhan commented: “China today is a large market for the nuclear industry, with the total installed capacity of nuclear energy is the third largest in the world, it is a tough task to keep the nuclear energy safe and secure in China. Thus, a constitution of the nuclear safety is essential and necessary to implement the guideline “operate nuclear by law” raised by the central government.”

As the feature of the Nuclear Safety Law, in my opinion “strict” is the best word to describe it. The Director of National Congress Legislation Office Tong Weidong said the Nuclear Safety Law is strict on the standards, strict on the regulations, strict on the supervision and strict on the punishment.

“China’s approach to nuclear security” has been written in the law

In 2014, during the third Nuclear Security Summit in Den Haag, Netherland, the Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward China’s approach to nuclear security for the first time, which provided an important and useful perspective to promote international nuclear security. It is to place the same emphasis on development and security, rights and obligations, independent and collaborative efforts, treating symptoms and addressing causes. The nuclear safety law is one of the best examples that implements the essence of Xi Jinping’s nuclear security approach. It also shows the serious attention from China’s central government on the nuclear industry development.

The importance of public participation in the nuclear industry

To the nuclear industry, information disclosure and public participation is one of the most important items to keep the industry developing in a healthy manner. In the nuclear safety law, there is one section focusing on this topic. It encourages the public to learn more information about the nuclear industry and to participate in the nuclear industry development, to not fear nuclear energy, and eventually increase the acceptance of nuclear energy in China. This shows the long-term determination of China’s government to develop the nuclear industry.

The publication of Nuclear Safety Law is that China is timely with the Chinese nuclear industry now with over 30 years’ experience of developing the nuclear energy. It has completed China’s nuclear industry system, for China connecting to the international nuclear market. It is a positive and encouraging signal to accelerate China’s nuclear industry development.

What are your thoughts on China’s Nuclear Safety Law?

Nuclear safety and security is a very important topic of China’s nuclear industry and it will be discussed during the 6th Asia Nuclear Business Platform, which will take place 9-10 May 2018 in Shanghai. For more information please contact

CNNC and Shanghai to Establish an Advanced Nuclear R&D Center

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

On 28 August 2017, under the auspices of Shanghai General Secretary Han Zheng, Director of SASAC (State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission) of State Council Xiao Yaqing, the Mayor of Shanghai Ying Yong, CNNC (China National Nuclear Corporation) and Shanghai Economy and Information Technology Commission signed an agreement for CNNC to locate its advanced nuclear technology R&D center in Shanghai.

Under the agreement, CNNC will establish the following entities in Shanghai

  1. Nuclear Operation Research Institute
  2. Heavy Water Reactor Research and Development Company
  3. Nuclear Technology Investment Company
  4. Floating Nuclear Power Platform Development Company
  5. UK-China Joint Nuclear Research and Innovation Center

The Chariman of CNNC Wang Shoujun said “Shanghai will be a very important base of CNNC’s future development, Shanghai is now targeting to be a global leading research and innovation center, which will help China to become a significant scientific power.”

Elaborating further, Wang Shoujun highlighted that in the new era, CNNC will make use of the industrial, financial, technological, and location advantages of Shanghai, focusing on advanced technology research and development, deepening the cooperation with Shanghai, to establish a hundred-billion level capital operation platform and a strong driving force of the nuclear industry.

CNNC Shanghai R&D Center will focus on the research of developing:

  • New nuclear reactor technology
  • Nuclear manufacturing
  • Innovation of nuclear service industry

It will make Shanghai the hub of five sub-fields in the nuclear industry:

  1. Nuclear Technology Innovation Center
  2. Nuclear Industry Financial Service Center
  3. High-end Nuclear Equipment Supply Center
  4. Nuclear Safety and Security Service Center
  5. Nuclear Healthcare and Medication Industry Center

CNNC and Shanghai have been working together for a very long time ever since the first nuclear power plant in China. It believes that the cooperation between CNNC and Shanghai will bring the development of China’s nuclear industry to a new high level.


This article was first published here

China to transform Shanghai into world-leading nuclear power tech hub

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

China aims to build a world-class nuclear energy innovation hub in five years, rallying support from eight state-owned giants and leading academies, a milestone for the country’s ambitious plan to become a global nuclear forerunner.

Located in Shanghai, long a hotbed of nuclear innovation in China, the plan aims to make major breakthroughs conducive to a full industrial upgrading. This will include R&D, manufacturing of fourth-generation reactors and new types of pressurized water reactors; small reactors, marine nuclear power platforms, special nuclear materials; the construction of high-quality test benches and manufacturing chains, according to Zheng Mingguang, deputy general manager of the Shanghai-based State Nuclear Power Technology (SNPTC), the initiator of the project.

The mega plan will be pillared by the establishment of new innovative bodies in Shanghai, including an industry cloud and big data center, an advanced equipment manufacturing center, and a basic science innovation center to further establish China as a nuclear tech leader, high-end facility manufacturer and exporter.

The country’s top two nuclear energy makers, China National Nuclear and China Nuclear Power Engineering have signed up, pledging to deploy resources from their Shanghai affiliates to the new hub. Also on board are electrical equipment manufacturers, including Shanghai Electric, and brain powers such as the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics under Chinese Academy of Social Science, Shanghai Supercomputer Center, and Shanghai Jiaotong University.

“As China moves to the forefront of nuclear technology, there is a greater need for the integration of resources between research institutes and companies. In the next step, SNPTC will team up with Shanghai Jiaotong University to build a technology testing and verification base in Shanghai’s Lingang District,” said Zheng.

Shanghai is the birthplace of China’s nuclear power. In the 1970s, it housed China’s first domestically designed and built 300,000 KW Qinshan Plant, when more than 180 facility makers and research institutes laid roots in Shanghai to support its completion. Today, Shanghai has evolved into a major cluster of Chinese nuclear tech companies.

This article was first published on People’s Daily Online on 12 July