Nuclear City: updates

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Update: Will F @NeedsMorePower in Melbourne (Will’s blog) sent me the announcement Construction of Chinese ‘Nuclear City’ to start at Haiyan in Zhejiang province. And Martin Burkle sent the same press release with the comment 

Since we spent twice the money to build the same thing as China spends, we need about 350 million to get the city started. That seems unlikely.

Indeed – China can make progress faster in the “politically sensitive zones” that aren’t favored by the establishment. So where is China on the road to fast deployment of zero-carbon nuclear energy? So far I’ve not been successful to find out what progress has been completed with the “China Nuclear Power City” since the initial press release (I am finding mostly 404 bad links). Here’s an excerpt from the original press release that Will and Martin sent me:

Plans are advancing for the construction of the first industrial park in China to help with the rapid development of the country’s nuclear power industry, with detailed engineering and construction preparation work at the site in Haiyan, Zhejiang province, expected to start soon.

The coastal city of Haiyan, on the Yangtze Delta, has been selected to house the ‘Nuclear City’. It is some 118 kilometres (70 miles) southwest of Shanghai and close to the cities of Hangzhou, Suzhou and Ningbo. It also lies midway along China’s coast, where several nuclear power plants have been constructed or are planned.

…CNNC and the Zhejiang government plan to accelerate the construction of the nuclear components centre and training centre in Haiyan. The central area of the industrial park and the exhibition centre was to be launched first in July 2010. Enterprises in the industrial park will enjoy priority for bidding quota, bidding training, qualification guidance and specific purchasing with CNNC.

China will reportedly spend some $175 billion over the next ten years on developing the 130 square-kilometre Haiyan Nuclear City.

The Haiyan nuclear industrial park is entitled to all the preferential benefits granted to national economic and technological zones and national hi-tech industrial zones.

The Nuclear City is expected to have four main areas of work: development of the nuclear power equipment manufacturing industry; nuclear training and education; applied nuclear science industries (medical, agricultural, radiation detection and tracing); and promotion of the nuclear industry.

On its website, the Haiyan Nuclear City said that it will be based on the Burgundy region of France, which successfully became an industrial centre for the French nuclear industry. Several small and medium sized French nuclear-related companies moved to Burgundy to actively participate in the global market.

Whatever has happened since the announcement, I take this as a positive indication that the Chinese leadership is thinking seriously about how to accelerate the deployment of low-carbon nuclear. 

Working out what is really happening in China is challenging. For example, reading the WNA China Nuclear Fuel Cycle, I find the identical quote (as above) on “China Nuclear Power City” in Haiyan. Then at the bottom of the section on Industrial Parks I find this:

In May 2013 CGN and CNNC announced that their new China Nuclear Fuel Element Co (CN- FEC) joint venture would build a CNY 45 billion ($7.33 billion) complex in Daying Industrial Park at Zishan town in Heshan and Jiangmen city, Guangdong province. It was to be established during the 12th Five-Year Plan and be fully operational by 2020. However, in July 2013 the plan was abruptly cancelled. The 200 ha park was to involve 1000 tU/yr fuel fabrication as well as a conversion plant (14,000 t/yr) and an enrichment plant, close to CGN’s Taishan power plant.

Dear readers – I would appreciate links to current information. Comments?

2 thoughts on “Nuclear City: updates

  1. In a similar vain, I would like to know more about the Chinese liquid fluoride development project.

    “Jiang Mianheng, son of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin, visited Oak Ridge in 2010 and brokered a cooperation agreement with the lab. The deal gave the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which has a staff of 50,000, the plans for a thorium reactor. In January 2011, Jiang signed a protocol with the Department of Energy outlining the terms of joint energy research with the academy.” from http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/12/20/breakout-thorium-idINL4N0FE21U20131220

    How would I find out if any Oak Ridge Labs employee has been to China and visit with Jiang at a real live research center?

    Is Oak Ridge required to make an annual report or something like that about each project they do? If so, could we at least find out if Oak Ridge is really doing anything at all with the Chinese liquid fluoride reactor?

    Is it possible to read the “joint research” agreement between Oak Ridge and the Chinese project?

    Is it possible that the Chinese liquid fluoride reactor project was silently canceled?

    • In a similar vain, I would like to know more about the Chinese liquid fluoride development project.

      Please post/tweet what you find.

      How would I find out if any Oak Ridge Labs employee has been to China and visit with Jiang at a real live research center?

      Is Oak Ridge required to make an annual report or something like that about each project they do? If so, could we at least find out if Oak Ridge is really doing anything at all with the Chinese liquid fluoride reactor?

      Is it possible to read the “joint research” agreement between Oak Ridge and the Chinese project?

      All great questions. You could tweet your questions to @ORNL and @DawnLevy1. I will do that when I’m under a bit less pressure.

      Is it possible that the Chinese liquid fluoride reactor project was silently canceled?

      Based on one of the tiny tidbits I’ve found – probably not. The first molten salt cooled reactor is now due for startup 2017 (2 years before the TMSR). From the Weinberg Foundation 2012:

      SHANGHAI – China has pushed back the intended completion date for its test thorium molten salt reactor, from 2017 to 2020, the head of the project indicated here today.

      In a presentation at the Thorium Energy Conference 2012, Xu Hongjie, director of the TMSR Center at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), showed a slide stating a 2020 completion date for the 2-megawatt reactor.

      That’s three years later than the 2017 set out by CAS’ Dr. Chen Kun last August in his TMSR presentation to a group of academics at the University of California Berkeley.

      According to Dr. Xu’s slide today, CAS has also pushed back the target date for a 2-megawatt molten salt cooled, solid fuel thorium pebble bed reactor, from the original 2015 to 2017 – although Xu seemed to say 2015 in his talk.

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