Tag Archives: nuclear

China Cracks On With Nuclear Power Plant Construction

The pause for breath in China’s ambitious nuclear development program announced following the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plants appears to have been no more than a single intake of air. Barely a week after Beijing suspended approvals of all new nuclear power projects until a safety review is carried out, Bloomberg reports that work will start next month on a planned fourth-generation nuclear power plant at Rongcheng in Shandong.

Cui Shaozhang, deputy general manager at Huaneng Nuclear Power Development Co., a subsidiary of state-owned China Huaneng Group, China’s largest power group, said it would be the world’s first high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor.  The Rongcheng plant will use helium in its cooling system, and its reactor cores are said to be able to withstand temperatures exceeding 1,600℃ for several hundred hours without melting down. “Japan’s Fukushima plant was using old technology while Chinese reactors are more advanced,” Cai is quoted as saying–words, this Bystander hopes, that will never come back to haunt him.

 

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Sarkozy Super Salesman

Areva, the French nuclear power plant builder, has at least got is contract to construct two third-generation pressurized water reactors in Guangdong. Signing the $11.9 billion contract had been expected in July or August, but it has had to wait for the visit to China of new French president Nicholas Sarkozy.

It has been a good trip for French business. Airbus picked up a $17 billion order for 160 planes. Telecoms-equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent, engineering group Alstom and water and waste management company Suez also sealed deals in what Sarkozy called an “unprecedented” haul. (Details here, via Bloomberg.)

None of that stopped the French president calling on his hosts to revalue the yuan, address human rights issues in China and to take a more robust diplomatic role over Iran, Burma and the Sudan. But all he got in return on those issues was an invitation to attend next summer’s Olympic games in Beijing, a vague agreement on climate change — and a lot of euros for the 40 French business leaders accompanying him.

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