Nuclear News Roundup for 3/13/16

CNNC chairman: China faces tough competition for nuclear exports

(China Daily) Although China faces “very strong competition” for international nuclear energy exports, the company hopes to construct about 30 nuclear reactors in countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, said China National Nuclear Corp. Chairman Sun Qin.

“Countries like Russia, South Korea, Japan and the United States are all exploring the global nuclear market aggressively,” noted Sun, who expects 130 new nuclear reactors to be built worldwide by 2020

Separately, it was also reported that construction of a floating nuclear plant with the ability to anchor and provide power to remote areas will begin by the end of this year, according to China National Nuclear Corp. Chairman Sun Qin.

AP1000 reactor in China to be finished next year

(Reuters) The Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactor being constructed in China should be in operation in June 2017, according to China National Nuclear Corp. Chairman Sun Qin. The second AP1000 unit would follow, entering operation by the end of 2017, he said.

The world’s first Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactor will go into operation in June next year, more than three years behind the original schedule, the head of China’s leading state nuclear project developer said.

“We are forecasting that if everything goes smoothly, the first unit will go into operation in June 2017, and the second unit at the end of 2017,” said Sun Qin, the chairman of the China National Nuclear Corporation.

Separately, the first of two pairs of reactor coolant pumps for the initial AP1000 unit being built at the Haiyang site in China’s Shandong province were delivered to the construction site on  March 2nd, State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation announced. The pumps – manufactured by US firm Curtiss-Wright – were shipped from the port of Philadelphia directly to the Haiyang site.

EDF Preparing Final Investment Decision For Hinkley Point

(NucNet) French energy company EDF is gathering the information it needs to make a final announcement in “the near future” on its investment decision for the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power project in the UK, a statement by the Office of the French President said.

France and the UK welcome the progress made with the project and EDF has “the full support” of the French government, the statement said. According to the President’s Office, the project is a “pillar” of the bilateral relationship between France and the UK and will be “a key element” the UK’s energy policy.

The two countries also plan to develop “better managerial and scientific collaboration” in the nuclear field, aiming to optimize their national programs and competitive joint positioning on the international market, the statement said.

EDF is planning to build two Areva 1,600-megawatt EPR units at Hinkley Point C in southwest England. In October 2015, EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation signed an investment agreement for the new reactors. Recent media reports have said funding difficulties have led to the postponement of a final investment decision. EDF’s chief financial officer quit his post recently amid reports he disagreed with plans to move ahead with the project.

EDF chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy said in a letter sent on March 11th to staff the utility will not go ahead with its plan to build two nuclear reactors in Britain unless it gets more financial support from the French state.

Levy said EDF is negotiating with the government in order to obtain commitments that will allow it to secure its financial situation before it commits to building reactors at Hinkley Point in Britain.

Duncan Hawthorne Appointed CEO Of Horizon Nuclear Power

(NucNet): Horizon Nuclear Power has appointed Duncan Hawthorne as chief executive officer, effective 1 May 2016. Mr Hawthorne joins Horizon following 15 years as president and chief executive officer of Bruce Power in Canada which operates one of the world’s largest operating nuclear facilities.

He served as chairman of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (Wano) Atlanta Centre and until recently was president of Wano’s governing board.

Horizon Nuclear Power was formed in 2009 to develop new nuclear power stations in the UK. It was acquired by Hitachi of Japan in November 2012. The company is developing plans to build at least 5,400 MW of new nuclear power generation plant at Wylfa on the island of Anglesey in north Wales and Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire. Mr Hawthorne has been on Horizon’s board of directors since 2013.

Japan Cannot Do Without Nuclear Energy, Says Prime Minister

(NucNet) Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe said on 3/10 Japan cannot do without nuclear energy and will not change its policy that reactors which meet new safety standards can be restarted. Speaking on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima-Daiichi accident, Mr Abe said: “Our resource-poor country cannot do without nuclear power to secure the stability of energy supply while considering what makes economic sense and the issue of climate change.”

His comment came a day after a district court judge issued a temporary injunction against the operation of Kansai Electric Power Company’s Takahama-3 and Takahama-4 nuclear reactors, which had been cleared to resume commercial operation. The request for an injunction was filed by anti-nuclear groups who said there were doubts about the station’s seismic standards and about new regulatory standards brought in following the Fukushima-Daiichi accident.

Japanese Ministries Call For Nuclear To Play Role In Reducing CO2 Emissions

(NucNet) Two Japanese ministries have called for the use of nuclear power as the country strives to reduce CO2 emissions from energy generation, the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif) said. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) have together drafted an action plan for countering climate change which aims at an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a statement said. The “utilisation of nuclear power plants” is listed in the document among the measures which are to be used to achieve the emission targets, Jaif said.

Bechtel and BWXT to advance development of small modular nuclear reactor

(ENR) Global engineering and construction firm Bechtel has signed an agreement with BWX Technologies to accelerate development of the Generation III++ small modular nuclear reactor.

Under the terms of the deal, Bechtel will lead the program while BWXT will focus on designing and testing the nuclear steam supply system. However, according to a securities filing, BWXT has no plans to increase its spending on SMR technologies beyond the $10M it has already allocated for 2016.

Bechtel will leverage on its experience in engineering, licensing, procurement, construction, and project management.

The firms will prepare a design certification application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

However, according to a securities filing, BWXT has no plans to increase its spending on SMR technologies beyond the $10M it has already allocated for 2016. It’s not clear where the money will come from to pay for design certification work.

Answers are pending to these and other questions posed to Bechtel and to BWXT last week about the project such as who is the first customer and where it the first site.

Westinghouse To Work With UK On Small Modular Reactor RPV Design

(NucNet): Westinghouse Electric Company is working with the UK’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) to explore the most effective way to manufacture Westinghouse small modular reactor (SMR) reactor pressure vessels in the UK. Nuclear AMRC will provide an independent assessment of the current Westinghouse 225MW small modular reactor RPV design, and determine “an optimal manufacturing solution.”

Westinghouse said Nuclear AMRC has extensive experience in design for the manufacture of large complex parts for safety-critical applications. A key component of the manufacturing study will be identifying efficiencies within the manufacturing process to “reduce capital costs and drive project savings.” The study will also identify potential suppliers for when the Westinghouse SMR enters production.

NRC to hear PSEG’s application for new N.. plant

(NJ.com) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel will review Public Service Enterprise Group’s application for a new nuclear plant in New Jersey on March 24.

“This regulatory process has conducted a thorough review of our application,” said PSEG Nuclear spokesman Joe Delmar. “Though it is not a commitment to build, the early site permit provides us with a 20-year window to pursue a construction and operating license.”

If granted the early site permit will have a 20-year shelf life. PSEG does not have to select a nuclear reactor vendor as part of the early site permit.

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