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  1. China plans to make nuclear energy tech a major export

    BEIJING (AP) — On a seaside field south of Shanghai, workers are constructing a nuclear reactor that is the flagship for Beijing's ambition to compete with the United States, France and Russia as an exporter of nuclear power technology.   The Hualong One, developed by two state-owned companies, is one multibillion-dollar facet of the Communist Party's aspirations to transform China into a creator of profitable technology from mobile phones to genetics.   Still, experts say Beijing underestimates how tough it will be for its novice nuclear exporters to sell abroad. They face political hurdles, safety concerns and uncertain global demand following Japan's Fukushima disaster.   China's government-run nuclear industry is based on foreign technology but has spent two decades developing its own with help from Westinghouse Electric Co., France's Areva and EDF and other partners. A separate export initiative is based on an alliance between Westinghouse and a state-owned reactor developer. The industry is growing fast, with 32 reactors in operation, 22 being built and more planned, according to the World Nuclear Association, an industry group. China accounted for eight of 10 reactors that started operation last year and six of eight construction starts. Abroad, builders broke ground in Pakistan last year for a power plant using a Hualong One, supported by a $6.5 billion Chinese loan. Also last year, Argentina signed a contract to use the reactor in a $15 billion plant financed by Chinese banks. Sales come with financing from state banks, a model that helped Chinese companies break into the market for building highways and other public works in Africa and the Middle East. State-owned companies also are lining up to invest in nuclear power plants in Britain and Romania. "This is generating significant build-up of skills and industrial experience," said Mycle Schneider, a nuclear energy consultant in Paris, in an email. Still, Beijing is "seriously underestimating" how hard global sales will be, said Schneider. He said obstacles include strict quality controls, regulations that differ from country to country and competition from the falling cost of wind and solar. "There is simply no market out there," said Schneider. At home, Beijing faces public unease about nuclear power following an avalanche of industrial accidents and product safety scandals. This month, thousands of residents of Lianyungang, north of Shanghai, protested after rumors spread that a facility to process nuclear waste might be built there. Authorities said the city, home to one of China's biggest nuclear power plants, was only one of several being considered. After more protests, they announced the search for a site was suspended. Overseas, China's nuclear companies face questions over their status as arms of the state. British Prime Minister Theresa May ordered a security review of plans to allow China General Nuclear Power Corp. to become a minority investor in the planned Hinkley Point C power station being built by EDF. In response, China's ambassador to London wrote in The Financial Times newspaper that a delay might harm official ties. The Hualong One under construction in Fuqing, near the southeastern city of Fuzhou, is a hybrid created by CGN and its main rival, China National Nuclear Corp., after they were ordered in 2011 to merge two competing reactors into a single export product. Based on French systems of the 1970s and '80s, it belongs to the industry's third generation of reactors, with more advanced safety features and working life of 60 years instead of the previous generation's 40. CNNC is installing two Hualong One reactors at the Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant, due to go online in 2019 and 2020. The power station also has two Areva units and is building two more. CGN is building its own version in Fangchenggang on the southern coast near Vietnam and says it wants to seek British regulatory approval of the Hualong One design for possible use in a power plant in Bradwell on Britain's east coast. China's nuclear industry has yet to report a major accident but reflexive official secrecy makes it hard for outsiders to assess its safety. Changes in Chinese-designed models based on foreign technology, such as making reactors bigger while using cooling techniques for smaller units, "raise questions about safety and the good judgment of Chinese reactor engineers," said Edward Lyman, a nuclear power specialist for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, in an email. "It is crucial for countries importing Chinese nuclear technology to rigorously conduct their own oversight over the products they are buying," Lyman said. China's first commercial nuclear plant went online in 1991 in Qinshan, south of Shanghai in Zhejiang province. Over the next decade, Beijing tested competing technologies by buying reactors from U.S., Russian, French and other suppliers. Chinese companies couldn't export models they developed because foreign companies owned the underlying technology. So last year, Beijing declared nuclear power one of 16 "national science and technology projects," with generous financial support to develop homegrown know-how. The ruling party's latest five-year development plan calls for China to have 58 gigawatts of nuclear generating capacity by 2020 and another 30 gigawatts under construction. By 2030, it wants 120 to 150 gigawatts of nuclear capacity supplying 8 to 10 percent of China's power. China's status as an important market for global suppliers gives Beijing leverage in acquiring technology. Westinghouse, which was acquired by Japan's Toshiba Corp. in 2006, Areva and France's EDF have had partnerships with Chinese researchers since the early 1990s. "I see them as customers, competitors and partners," said Jeff Benjamin, Westinghouse's senior vice president for new plants and major projects. Other global suppliers include GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, South Korea's KEPCO, Canada's Candu Energy Inc. and Russia's Atomstroyexport. Westinghouse transferred technology for its latest reactor, the AP1000, to China's State Nuclear Power Technology Corp. in 2007 as part of a transaction that included the sale of four reactors. The AP1000 became the basis for future Chinese reactor development and Westinghouse agreed to sell reactors with SNPTC. The Chinese partner, which merged with another state company to form the State Power Investment Corp. last year, also developed its own, bigger version, the CAP1400. The two companies are in talks with Turkey about selling four reactors based on the AP1000. The AP1000 has been approved by U.S. and British regulators, Benjamin said, while the CAP1400 is just beginning the review process. "We look forward to participating in the China market for many years to come," he said. Abroad, "there will be markets either SPIC on their own or Westinghouse on our own might not have access to, but together we can gain access."

    Online Articles

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    Thu, 25 Aug 2016

  2. Nuclear Energy News: China sets sights on new global export: nuclear energy

    On a seaside field south of Shanghai, workers are constructing a nuclear reactor that is the flagship for Beijing's ambition to compete with the United States, France and Russia as an exporter of atomic power technology.

    Online Articles

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    Wed, 24 Aug 2016

  3. Nuclear Energy News: China's nuclear power ambitions sailing into troubled waters

    China's ambitions to become a pioneer in nuclear energy are sailing into troubled waters.

    Online Articles

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    Mon, 1 Aug 2016

  4. U.S. Nuclear Plant up for Sale at Fraction of Cost

    After spending more than 40 years and $5 billion on an unfinished nuclear power plant in northeastern Alabama, the nation's largest federal utility is preparing to sell the property at a fraction of its cost.

    Online Articles

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    Mon, 12 Sep 2016

  1. U.S. nuclear power plant up for sale at fraction of cost

    Online Articles

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    Mon, 12 Sep 2016

  2. U.S. nuclear power plant up for sale at fraction of cost

    After spending more than 40 years and $5 billion on an unfinished nuclear power plant in northeastern Alabama, the nation's largest federal utility is preparing to sell the property at a fraction of its cost.

    Online Articles

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    Sun, 11 Sep 2016

  3. MoU signed for development of world-first nuclear reactor

    China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with US-based nuclear technology firm TerraPower for development of what will be the world’s first travelling wave nuclear reactor.  

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    Thu, 1 Oct 2015

  4. Chinese State Nuclear Power Technology Corp. selects Intergraph solutions for 16 nuclear reactor projects

    The Chinese State Nuclear Power Technology Corp. Ltd. has selected Intergraph® SmartPlant® Enterprise solutions to increase productivity and safety and to accelerate project schedules for the engineering, 3D design and data management of its 16 third-generation Westinghouse Electric Company AP1000™ ...

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    Thu, 3 Mar 2011

  5. Thailand's EGAT signs agreement with China Guangdong Nuclear Power

    The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has signed an agreement with a Chinese developer of nuclear power technology , paving the way for the country's first atomic power plant, says governor Sombat Sarntijaree.

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    Tue, 17 Nov 2009

  6. Areva NP U.S. Names Senior VP of Regional Account Management

    Areva NP U.S. appointed A.W. (Tony) Robinson as senior vice president of Regional Account Management.

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    Mon, 15 Aug 2016

  7. Testing of AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Coolant Pump Successful

    Curtiss-Wright Corp. (NYSE: CW), Westinghouse Electric Co. and State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation of China (SNPTC) completed testing of a nuclear reactor coolant pump (RCP).

    Online Articles

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    Thu, 29 Oct 2015

  8. Nuclear Energy News: Britain's May hopes to assure Chinese over nuclear plant

    On her first visit to China as Britain's prime minister, Theresa May will try to reassure Beijing that she wants to strengthen ties despite her delay on a decision over whether to approve a Chinese-backed nuclear power plant in southwestern England.

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    Thu, 1 Sep 2016

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