4 September 2010
BEIJING – China National Nuclear Corp. is in talks over building a nuclear power plant in South Africa, a CNNC official said Tuesday, in the latest sign that China is gearing up to export nuclear technology at the same time as it rapidly expands its domestic reactor fleet.
Negotiations involve the potential transfer of nuclear technology to South Africa, during the visit of South African President Jacob Zuma to China, the official, who declined to be named, told Dow Jones Newswires.
China has its own CPR 1000 nuclear technology and its own operating Pebble Bed Modular Reactors (PBMR). South Africa and China signed a nuclear cooperation agreement over the PBMR in 2009.
Environmental activists in China have reportedly been jailed, disappeared or sentenced to years of “Re-education Through Labour” for endangering state security after following attempts to petition officials over severe radiation poisoning affecting local residents”, focussing on “nuclear pollution” and “human rights violations” relating to uranium mining. http://www.wise-uranium.org/udasi.html
However, China and South Africa signed a raft of commercial deals in mining, finance, nuclear energy and other sectors during a visit by South African President Jacob Zuma end of August, hot on the heels of his visit to Russia during which he also signed deals involving mining and nuclear technology. China and Russia are both nuclear weapons states.
None of the details of these deals have officially been made known to South Africans.
However in an interview with Reuters, it emerges that Standard Bank has agreed with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company to work on nuclear power opportunities in South Africa, the chief executive of Africa’s biggest bank said last Friday.
Jacko Maree, who had just returned from China, told Reuters on 27 August the deal was reached during the visit this week to Beijing by South African President Jacob Zuma and more than 300 business representatives.
The Chinese firm operates over 40 percent of China’s nuclear power generating capacity.
“We are working with Guangdong Nuclear Power Company on cooperation in nuclear power projects with South Africa,” Maree said. He did not say there were any specific deals on the horizon or give any indication of how big such deals might be.
The decision on how many nuclear plants to build and who would run them is to be decided in a new electricity plan which is still in the works. Chinese firms believe they are well placed given the growing political ties between Pretoria and Beijing.
The electricity plan which aims to map out the energy future for South Africa over the next 50 years is, however, currently subject of a consultative process with stakeholders and is not completed. Civil society is fighting tooth and nail to ensure that nuclear power is excluded from the plan, in favour of clean and less risky renewable energy options.
The agreement between Standard Bank and the Chinese nuclear firm also involves Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the world’s biggest bank by market capitalisation. It has a 20 percent stake in Standard Bank, Reuters said.
The list of more than 10 deals, the total value of which wasn’t announced, reflects China’s focus on expanding its resources and energy reach in South Africa to fuel continued growth in China’s booming economy.
Separately, an official at China National Nuclear Corp. said it is in talks to build a nuclear-power plant in South Africa. A deal on that would mark the latest sign that China is gearing up to export nuclear technology at the same time as it rapidly expands its domestic reactor fleet. The talks involve the potential transfer of nuclear technology to South Africa, although nothing concrete was expected to be signed during President Zuma’s visit, the official said.
China is working to become self-sufficient in advanced nuclear technology so that it doesn’t need to award multibillion-dollar contracts to foreign companies to build domestic plants in the future. It is also looking at selling nuclear technology overseas in countries such as Vietnam, Belarus and Argentina.
Meanwhile, in another report, Standard Bank Group Ltd. announced a memorandum of understanding with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., China’s largest lender, which owns a minority stake in Standard Bank, to promote nuclear cooperation between the countries, according to a South African government statement. The two banks are working with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co. to engage with the Chinese and South African governments, the statement said.
According to Abdullah Verachia, a director at consultancy Frontier Advisory and a faculty member at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, the deals were done in the mining, power transmission, finance and nuclear energy sectors, among others.
Zuma visited China with 13 cabinet ministers and a 370-strong business delegation to strengthen ties between South Africa and what has become the world’s second-largest economy, with gross domestic product (GDP) worth $1.3 trillion (R9.5 trillion) in the second quarter.
A comprehensive strategic partnership agreement was also concluded during the trip.
Zuma’s visit to China is part of a push to be part of the BRIC grouping of countries, which includes Brazil, Russia, India and China, and follows trips to the other three countries.
Zuma last week called for China to import value-added goods as well as raw materials and to invest in the manufacturing sector instead of focussing solely on projects involving commodities.
Financial Times reported Rob Davies, South Africa’s trade minister, “revealed some frustration by saying it wanted China to do more than just import its raw materials” and suggested that he wants China to help South Africa to do some more sophisticated (and profitable) minerals processing and manufacturing itself.
South Africa’s current plans to expand its nuclear programme include its announcements to enrich uranium. The Y-plant and Z-plant were South Africa’s working uranium enrichment facilities. The facilities were decommissioned during the 1990s and South Africa now meets its fuel requirement through the world market. The Y-plant was pivotal in South Africa’s weapons programme.
Zuma himself told a forum of business executives from China and South Africa: “We envisage meaningful future cooperation in infrastructure, the benefaction of minerals, engineering, energy, information and communications technology and electronics. There are also opportunities to be explored in manufacturing.”
Africa is a prime hunting ground for China’s future energy security. China has established a strong foothold in the Sudan for petroleum. But, Africa is rich in uranium deposits.
Dow Jones Newswires
Wall Street Journal
For background information on SA, China, Westinghouse & the PBMR it is worthwhile to glance over some of the articles featured in the pro-nuclear Idaho Samizdat:Nuke Notes. Here is the link to the briefs below:
PBMR joins forces with China on pebble bed technology
It’s a quantum leap in overcoming the “not invented here” paradigm Hat tip to Rod Adams at South Africa and China have agreed to joint development of pebble bed reactor technology A press release from Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (Pty) Ltd ( PBMR ) of South Africa indicates that firm has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Beijing on 26 March 2009 between the Chinese and the South…
Posted Mar 30 2009, 10:08 AM by Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes
Filed under: PBMR, China, pebble bed
• Pebble bed fuel fabricated in South Africa
Target application is Idaho’s Next Generation Nuclear Plant World Nuclear News reports that PBMR in South Africa has successfully manufactured nuclear fuel “pebbles” at 9.6% enrichment for use in a planned high temperature gas cooled reactor (HTGR). The company said the fuel design and fabrication milestone is linked to work on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Next Generation Nuclear…
Posted Jan 18 2009, 02:50 PM by Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes
Filed under: PBMR, South Africa
• China launches Pebble Bed at Shandong
High temperature gas cooled reactor design is being developed at Tsinghua University China’s Huaneng Group has launched a demonstration of its PBMR nuclear power project, at a plant in Shandong Province according to an English language report on CCTV. Parties involved in the project signed agreements in Beijing on Oct 7. The HTR-PM project, which stands for “”High Temperature Gas-cooled…
Posted Oct 11 2008, 12:24 PM by Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes
Filed under: PBMR, China
• For Mitsubishi size doesn’t matter
Firm will start making large forgings and may invest in Pebble Bed Reuters reports that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) plans to get into the business of manufacturing large forgings for nuclear reactors including its own 1,700 MWe PWR . It joins firms in Korea, France, and the U.K. who are seeking to gain market share in this field. The only firm making the components now is Japan Steel…
Posted May 27 2008, 11:03 PM by Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes
Filed under: PBMR, Mitsubishi
• Westinghouse moves out on four reactors for China
Plus staking its claims to PBMR reactor technologies and for NGNP The ink is dry on a contract between Westinghouse and the State Nuclear Power Technology Company of China (SNPTC) to build four AP1000 nuclear plants in that country. The announcement comes one day after Westinghouse announced its acquisition of IST Nuclear (ISTN), a provider of services to South Africa’s Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Read…
Posted Aug 10 2007, 04:30 PM by Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes
Filed under: PBMR, AP100, China, hydrogen, Westinghouse
• SA, China unveil PBMR cooperation agreement
10 Apr 2009 … Its shareholders are China Nuclear Engineering and Construction … PILOT PBMR: China’s research PBMR/MHTGR building at INET in Beijing …
www.engineeringnews.co.za/…/south-africa-china-pbmr-projects-to-cooperate-2009-04-10 – Cached – Similar
• NRC: Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR)
Protecting People and the EnvironmentUNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION secondary … Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). Reactor Power: 400 MWt …
www.nrc.gov/reactors/advanced/pbmr.html – Cached – Similar
Westinghouse signs Chinese contracts, buys into PBMR
Westinghouse signs Chinese contracts, buys into PBMR. 24 July 2007. Westinghouse has signed definitive … Indian cabinet changes nuclear liability bill …
www.world-nuclear-news.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=13762 – Cached – Similar
Green Car Congress: Mitsubishi Heavy Signs MOU with PBMR Pty on …
7 Feb 2010 … With the newly concluded MOU, PBMR development will now move forward …. Therefore I suggest sending used nuclear fuel to China and paying …
www.greencarcongress.com/2010/…/mhi-pbmr-20100207.html – Cached – Similar
AECL Chinergy PBMR SNC-Lavalin Nuclear Washington Group …
14 Apr 2006 … state-owned China Nuclear Engineering and. Construction Corporation. ….. software systems manager for PBMR. “The nuclear …
www.intergraph.com/…/NuclearIndustrySpotlight.pdf – United States – Similar
PBMR Contract – 4th Generation Nuclear Power Plant by 2014 – Red …
25 Aug 2008 … PBMR Contract – 4th Generation Nuclear Power Plant by 2014 … reactor operating in China – the 10 MWth HTR-10 at Tsinghua University. …
redgreenandblue.org/…/pbmr-contract-4th-generation-nuclear-power-plant-by-2014/ – Cached – Similar
US support for PBMR intensifies Areva, Westinghouse contest
2 Oct 2009… to research the pebble-bed modular reactor (PBMR) nuclear technology, … by 2020 – the others being China, the US, the UK and Italy. …
www.polity.org.za/…/us-support-for-pbmr-intensifies-areva-westinghouse-contest-2009-10-02 – Cached – Similar
Nuclear Fuel Pellets Offer the Future of Energy that is Clean and …
For now, at least, that leaves nuclear power. The PBMR’s small size and relative simplicity … PBMR technology is also being pursued in China and at MIT. …
www.hightech-edge.com/future-nuclear-energy-power/1283/ – Cached
Atomic Insights Blog: Pebble Bed Reactor MOU Between China and …
30 Mar 2009 … PBMR CEO Jaco Kriek welcomed the collaboration with China. … It is joint investment by China Nuclear Engineering & Construction …
atomicinsights.blogspot.com/…/pebble-bed-reactor-mou-between-china.html – Cached – Similar
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