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India to Raise Indigenous Content in Upcoming Nuclear Power Projects

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

The participation of the Indian private sector in indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) programme is substantial. The private sector provides plant components, equipment, services in areas including construction, fabrication & erection of equipments, piping, electrical, instrumentation, and consultancy, auxiliary and logistical services.

In respect of Light Water Reactors (LWR) set up with foreign cooperation, the Indian private sector is involved in supply of some of the equipment and in execution of works contracts. The indigenous content in LWRs is planned to be increased progressively.

Further, at present companies in private sectors in India are participating in a major way in setting up of Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor. They are involved in the manufacturing of major equipment & component. They also participate in the supply, erection, testing & commissioning of different systems.

India’s two fully operational nuclear power plant units at the Kudankulum have 20% local content. The overall indigenization of the power plant is expected to cross 50% with the commissioning of the fifth and the sixth units.

Presently, two central Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) are involved in implementation of nuclear power generation projects.

During the last three years and the current year, the Government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction of the following proposals:

  • Kudankulam Units 5 & 6 (2X1000 MW) in cooperation with Russian Federation.
  • Ten indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) each of 700 MW (10 x 700 MW) to be set up in fleet mode.

21 nuclear reactors (15,700 MW) under construction in India – 1st nuclear power park

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

“21 nuclear reactors with a total installed capacity of 15,700 megawatt are currently under construction. There are nine nuclear power reactors at various stages of construction which are expected to be completed by the year 2024-25”

This update was provided by India’s Union Minister Jitendra Singh during a parliamentary update this week (18 July).

In addition, in-principle approval has been given for 5 sites for setting up nuclear plants. The sites are in Jaitapur (Mahareshtra), Kovada (Andhra Pradesh), Chhaya Mithi Virdi (Gujarat), Haripur (West Bengal) and Bhimpur (Madhya Pradesh).

France’s EDF is planning to build 6 European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) in Jaitapur and USA’s Westinghouse plans to build 6 AP1000 reactors in Kovada. 6 reactor units with 1000 MW capacity each has been earmarked for Chhaya Mithi Virdi and Haripur site while the Bhimpur site will have 4 reactor units with 700 MW capacity.

The Indian Government has taken several enabling steps to increase the nuclear power capacity, based both on indigenous technologies & with foreign technical cooperation and to provide adequate quantity of fuel. These include:

  • Resolution of issues related to Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act, 2010
  • Creation of Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP)
  • Accord of administrative approval and financial sanction of – ten (10) indigenous 700 MW Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) to be set up in fleet mode. Of these, eight (08) are to be setup at green field sites
  • Amendment of the Atomic Energy Act to enable Joint Ventures of Public Sector Companies to set up nuclear power projects
  • Entering into enabling agreements with foreign countries for nuclear power cooperation including supply of fuel

Financing

Nuclear power reactors to be set up are funded by a mix of debt and equity. Generally, the debt to equity ratio is about 70:30. The equity requirements are met from indigenous sources comprising of investments by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and domestic budgetary support. The debt is sourced from both domestic and external borrowings. In respect of reactors to be set up in technical cooperation with foreign countries, debt is planned to be sourced from either the vendor country as credit or from lending agencies.

The equity requirements of future reactors is planned to be met with the internal resources, Government’s budgetary support and contribution of Joint Venture (JV) partners.

Existing plants

With respect to existing nuclear power plants, the Government has no plans to increase the capacity as the existing units are operating at their rate capacity. The unit size of indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) had already been increased from 220 MW to 540 MW and then to 700 MW, which are now under construction.

First nuclear power park in India

Kudankulam is poised to become the India’s first nuclear power park by 2026. A nuclear power park refers to a site with a number of large capacity reactors that have a total capacity of 6,000 MW or more. The overall cost of the the nuclear park will be around $17 billion.

The first and second units of the Kudankulum Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) are fully operational with the third and fourth units are being constructed at a cost of approximately $6 billion. The government has sanctioned $7.5 billion to the fifth and sixth units of the plant.

KNPP is jointly constructed by Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). Atomenergomash is the supplier of the main equipment for the reactor and turbine islands. The design and construction works on the site are being performed by ASE Group of Companies, an engineering division of Rosatom.

India to procure nuclear fuel for long-term security

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

India is engaging with various countries to procure nuclear fuel as part of its plan to create a strategic uranium reserve to ensure long-term security.

The plan is to have a stockpile of nuclear fuel for its strategic uranium reserve that can sustain the country’s reactors for the next five years so that they do not stop functioning because of the lack of uranium.

In late 2017, India held discussions with Uzbekistan, to procure nuclear fuel. Attempts are also being made to procure uranium from Australia. A nuclear cooperation pact between the two nations was signed in 2014 and came into force in 2015.

India’s concerns to have a stockpile of nuclear fuel emanate from the time when its atomic reactors functioned below its capacity level due to the shortage of uranium.

Apart from domestic production, India currently imports uranium from Russia, Kazakhstan and Canada. In 2016, over 2,400 MT of nuclear fuel was shipped into India from these three countries. This is primarily used to fuel its indigenously built Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs).

India has 22 operating nuclear power plants with an installed capacity of 6780 MWe, of which, eight reactors with aggregate capacity of 2,400 MWe are fuelled by indigenous uranium while the remaining 14 with a capacity of 4,380 MWe are under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards and use imported uranium. Ten foreign reactors, six in Jaitapur, Maharashtra, and four in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu, have been approved. The government has recently approved 10 more indigenous reactors.

India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) plans to ramp up domestic uranium production ten-fold over next 15 years (by 2031-2032). The DAE mines uranium ore from Jaduguda mine in Jharkhand and Tummalapalle mine in Andhra Pradesh.

Annual fuel need for operating the indigenous PHWRs at 85 per cent capacity:

  • 45 tonnes of uranium dioxide for the older 220 MWe units
  • 100 tonnes for the 540 MWe units
  • 125 tonnes for the new 700 MWe units

Annual fuel need of low enriched uranium for operating imported light water reactors (LWRs) at 85 per cent capacity:

  • 6 tonnes for the older 160 MWe Tarapur units
  • 27 tonnes for 1,000 MWe units at Kudankulam

Senior executives from the Indian nuclear industry will be attending an Indian nuclear summit in Mumbai this October where a key topic of discussion will be on the supply of nuclear fuel.

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”.

About NPCIL

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 www.npcil.nic.in

Strong need and challenge for nuclear energy in India – Dr. M R Srinivasan

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

A keynote speaker for the upcoming India Nuclear Business Platform (INBP) is Dr. M R Srinivasan who is a considered the doyen of the Indian nuclear establishment. Dr. Srinivasan provides his personal insights on several key matters pertaining to the Indian nuclear power programme.

Strong need and challenge for nuclear energy in India

According to Dr. Srinivasan, India requires nuclear energy to overcome its large developmental deficit. Lamenting that nuclear power formed only three per cent of India’s electricity generation, he said: “in our view by 2050 we should have a much larger nuclear component, may be 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the overall electricity capacity,” he said, adding, “We think there is a scope for India to substantially increase nuclear power.”

“Indigenous manufacturing of major components and ensuring a strong participation from the domestic industry are the major challenges before the Indian nuclear power programme now. For a large nuclear power capacity to be built in a country like India, it is very important to have major components made within the country. Otherwise economics will be not so good,” Dr. Srinivasan remarked with regards to supply chain matters.

Current developments in India

The Government of India decided to build ten India designed 700 MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors in June 2017. The Nuclear Power Corporation had scaled up the 540 MW size units to 700 MW and started work, two at Kakrapara (Units 3 and 4) and two at Rajasthan (Units 7 and 8). This is one of the biggest single commitments in nuclear power, after the Fukushima accident of 2011. This programme will provide Indian industry with sustained workload for a period of a decade and establish India firmly as an important player in this field.

Work has commenced on Units 3, 4, 5, and 6 at Kudankulam. Russia has offered to build six 1200 MW units at a second site to be identified by India. As a parallel activity, India has designed the ‘Indian Pressurised Water Reactor’ of 900 MW capacity, using enriched uranium as fuel. Work on two such units may be taken up soon, to be followed thereafter by series building. At Kalpakkam, the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor of 500 MW is in the process of commission. Two reactors of 600 MW of similar design may follow. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has completed the design of a 300 MW reactor called ‘Advanced Thermal Reactor’ which would use thorium. Our long-term plans to use thorium depend on fast reactors and thorium-based systems.

By about 2025 or so, India may itself supply enriched uranium from its own enrichment facilities. The government’s push for 10 IPWRs will secure India a position of nuclear power plant supplier not only for application in India, but also as a potential exporter. While our earlier plans on expanding nuclear power have not materialised, the alternative plan suggested now, which envisages building 28 units with a total capacity of about 25,000 MW in 15 years from now, can still ensure that nuclear power remains an important part of our strategy to minimise carbon emissions in the long run.

Profile of Dr. M R Srinivasan

Dr. M R Srinivasan is a Member & former Chairman of the India Atomic Energy Commission. In 2015, Dr. Srinivasan was chosen by the Government of India for the Padma Vibhushan award. Dr. Srinivasan played a key role in designing the Indian Nuclear Power Programme and the development of the indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor. The Padma Vibhushan is the second-highest civilian award of the Republic of India. The award is given for “exceptional and distinguished service”.

Dr. Srinivasan joined the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in September 1955, he worked with Dr. Homi Bhabha on construction of India’s first nuclear research reactor, Apsara which went critical in August 1956. In August, 1959, Dr. Srinivasan was appointed as Principal Project Engineer in the construction of India’s first atomic power station. Following this, in 1967, Dr. Srinivasan was appointed as Chief Project Engineer at the Madras Atomic Power Station.

In 1974, Dr. Srinivasan was appointed Director, Power Projects Engineering Division, DAE and then Chairman, Nuclear Power Board, DAE in 1984; in these capacities, he was responsible for planning, execution, and operation, of all nuclear power projects in the country.

In 1987, he was appointed Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, with responsibility for all aspects of the Indian Nuclear Program. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) was created in September 1987, with Dr. Srinivasan as the Founder-Chairman, he has been responsible for a total of 18 nuclear power units, of which seven are in operation, another seven under construction, and four still in the planning stages.

Construction of Jaitapur nuclear plant expected to begin by year-end

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

The construction of Jaitapur nuclear power plant in neighbouring Maharashtra, the largest such project in the world, is expected to begin this year-end, says French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler.

He expressed confidence that the negotiations between entities of France and the Indian government would conclude by 2018-end.

India and France had on March 10 inked an agreement to expedite the Jaitapur nuclear power plant project, with the aim of commencing work at the site around the year-end, during France President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Macron had encouraged the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and EDF France to accelerate the contractual discussions for the project, which is yet to see a consensus on key aspects such as credit limits.

Once installed, the Jaitapur project will be the largest nuclear power plant in the world, with a collective capacity of 9,900 MW.

“We have agreed on greater milestones during the presidential visit during last week. NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation) and EDF France have signed an industrial way forward agreement which means signing the whole industrial scheme over the project,” Ziegler told PTI in an interview.

The French ambassador is in Goa to witness an Indo-French joint naval exercise ‘Varuna-18’, which commenced yesterday in the Arabian Sea off the Goa coast.

He said the industrial way forward agreement was “one of the major elements that was to be settled before we reach the final agreement”.

“In the joint statement during the presidential visit, we agreed on an ambitious time table as we are supposed to end the negotiations by the end of this year,” the French ambassador said.

“It is moving forward in a proper direction. We are aiming to start the construction work by the end of this year, which means we are aiming at concluding negotiations by then,” he added.

Besides defence and space, nuclear energy is a key component of the Indo-French strategic partnership.

The Indo-French nuclear agreement was signed in 2008 and it was decided to build a nuclear power plant in Jaitapur, some 600 km south of Mumbai. The power plant will have six reactors with a capacity of 1,650 MW each.

However, the EDF and the NPCIL are yet to agree on the cost per unit and the credit aspect to be provided by France to India for building the plant.

As per a joint statement issued in Delhi on March 10, “The understanding is based on the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010, the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Rules, 2011, and compliance of India’s rules and regulations with the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, ratified and notified to the IAEA”.

Locals of Jaitapur and some organisations have been opposing the project in the area citing safety and environmental concerns. The BJP’s alliance partner Shiv Sena has been backing the locals.

Ziegler said all the precautions from the safety point of view were taken into consideration while conceiving the plant.

“Safety is a major issue for any industrial project. It is specifically a major issue for a nuclear power plant. But we have the latest generation reactors. They are going to be the safest in the world.

“These reactors are purchased by several countries, including the UK. It is going to be the safest reactor operational in the world,” asserted the ambassador.

Seeking to allay safety concerns, he said two French officers who are incharge of the nuclear safety are closely monitoring the project.

“They would be closely monitoring the installation of the reactor as well, so I do not see any safety issue,” he added.

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This article was first published on Business Standard on 20 March 2018

Kakodkar moots solar-like subsidy for nuclear power

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

Anil Kakodkar, a former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, today pitched for subsidising nuclear energy so that it competes with low-cost solar power.

“Nuclear is also carbon-free, it is sustainable. I think nuclear should also be eligible for that kind of subsidy (enjoyed by solar and wind) as it is also clean,” he told on the sidelines of an event here.

Kakodkar was replying to a specific question on whether the subsidies given to solar power result in a competitive disadvantage for nuclear power.

He said the nuclear energy industry should be given access to the clean energy fund which is collected from carbon-spewing activities.

Kakodkar suggested soft loans can be given to the nuclear industry as well which will lead to a “drastic” reduction in tariff.

The scientist said at present there is some clarity on the funding side for nuclear projects as government has made an equity commitment of Rs 3,000 crore, that makes it possible for an investment of up to Rs 10,000 crore in the sector.

The country currently has 22 nuclear reactors across eight plants with an installed capacity of over 6,700 mw. Government has a stated target of increasing the same by nearly 10 times to 63,000 mw by 2032.

Capacity addition in the solar sector has been faster, which now has an installed capacity of 20,000 mw and is aiming for a five times increase to 1,00,000 mw by 2022.

But thanks to subsidy, solar power is much cheaper at Rs 3 a unit while nuclear energy is almost double at over Rs 5 a unit.

“Today, the borrowing for nuclear power is at commercial rates. So compared to that, if you get finances from the clean energy fund, which is a soft loan that solar gets, the tariff will come down drastically,” Kakodkar said.

He said both nuclear and solar are clean sources of energy and has to go “hand-in-hand” to solve the large energy needs of the country.

Kakodkar, who was a key member of the team which negotiated a deal with the US which ended the country’s nuclear isolation in 2008, said he is “anguished” about a lack of progress despite the deal.

“I have a bit of anguish. We have lost lot of time. Today, it looks to me that government has done everything that it needs to do or could do. It is for the professional community to deliver now,” he said.

He said till about two years ago, it was the concerns on the nuclear liability which were impeding the industry. Now, major nuclear power players in the world are facing their own problems which may be impacting us, he said, naming American company Westinghouse and the French Areva.

When asked if popular objection to nuclear energy, as seen in protests in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur and Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, is affecting the industry’s interest, he replied in the negative.

He said people’s concerns will always remain with any project and have to be tackled through public awareness activities.

***

This article first appeared in The Times of India on 21 Feb 2018

India Govt gives approval, financial sanction to build 12 nuclear power reactors

Written by Zaf Coelho. Posted in Uncategorized

Out of the 12 nuclear reactors, 10 will be indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors and two Light Water Reactors will be established in cooperation with the Russia.

The government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for construction of 12 nuclear power reactors in the country, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

Out of these, 10 will be indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) with a capacity of 700 MW each and the remaining two will be Light Water Reactors (LWRs).

The PHWRs will be set up in fleet mode and the LWRs will be established in cooperation with the Russian Federation, minister of state in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

Two PHWRs each will be set up in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Haryana, while four will be established in Rajasthan, he said, adding that the two LWRs each having a capacity of 1,000 MW will come up at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

The security aspects are being reviewed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) before giving clearance for various stages of the projects, the minister said.

Currently seven nuclear power projects are being constructed in the country with a combined capacity of 5300 MW of capacity.

Besides work for the construction of two nuclear reactors with total capacity 1,400 MW at Gorakhpur in Haryana has commenced, he said.

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This article first appeared in Hindustan Times on 7 Feb 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 zaf@industry-platform.com