Progress for Indian nuclear trade

30 September 2013 India and the USA have reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of bilateral nuclear trade agreements, alongside the signature of a preliminary contract for the construction of reactors in Gujarat. Meanwhile, a cooperation agreement between Canada and India has entered into force. The conclusion of a “preliminary contract to develop a power plant in Gujarat” by Westinghouse and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) was announced in a joint statement by Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and US president Barack Obama following a summit meeting in Washington DC. No further details of the contract were given, but the two leaders further urged NPCIL and US reactor vendors Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi to “expedite the necessary work” to establish nuclear plants in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. The two leaders both reaffirmed their commitment to the “full and timely” implementation of the India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement, signed in 2008 after the international Nuclear Suppliers Group agreed to relax international nuclear trade restrictions against India and the two countries signed a civil nuclear agreement. Pre-project activities are already under way at Mithi Virdi in Gujarat, where six Westinghouse AP1000 reactors are planned. In Andhra Pradesh, Kovvada has been earmarked for the construction of six GE-Hitachi ESBWR units. Canada looks to new market Canadian natural resources minister Joe Oliver has said that the newly announced entry into force of the Canada-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement will open up access to an “important new market” for Canada’s uranium, nuclear technology, services and equipment. The agreement, together with a supporting “appropriate arrangement” signed earlier this year, allows Canadian companies to export nuclear items to India for peaceful uses in facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards. With its ambitious plans for nuclear energy expansion but limited uranium resources, India represents a vast potential market for Canada’s uranium. Minister for foreign affairs Lynne Yelich said the agreement was of particular importance for the province of Saskatchewan, home to Canada’s uranium mining industry....
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Agreement for building Lufeng AP1000s

30 September 2013 The contractual framework for the construction of the first two AP1000 units at Lufeng in China’s Guangdong province has been agreed. China General Nuclear (CGN) and Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI) signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract framework agreement for the Lufeng units on 29 September. CGN had originally planned to build its first AP1000 units at the inland site of Xianning in Hubei province. However, although the Xianning project was included in the 12th five-year plan to start construction, concerns regarding possible pollution of rivers led to an announcement in October 2012 that approvals for inland plants would be deferred until after 2015. It therefore transferred plans for the AP1000 units to Lufeng, where six CPR1000 units had been planned. The AP1000 plant equipment manufactured for Xianning is now being deployed at Lufeng. China’s state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, gave approval in March for the construction of two AP1000 units at Lufeng. Preparatory work – including the preliminary design, document preparation for the licence application and the procurement of long-lead equipment – has been underway since the beginning of this year. The first four AP1000 reactors in China are being built at Sanmen and Haiyang, for China National Nuclear Corporation and China Power Investment Corp respectively. Sanmen unit 1 is expected to be the first AP1000 to begin operating. The unit is expected to begin generating electricity in 2014. All four Chinese AP1000s are scheduled to be in operation by 2016....
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Areva continues Czech appeal

30 September 2013 Areva has filed legal action against the Czech anti-monopoly office claiming that its decision not to allow the French reactor vendor to appeal against the disqualification of its bid to build two new units at the Temelin nuclear power plant was unlawful. Bids to build the new Temelin units were submitted to Czech utility CEZ by three candidates – Areva; a consortium between Škoda JS, AtomStroyExport and OKB Gidropress; and Westinghouse. All three contenders submitted documentation supporting their respective bids in late June 2012. However, last October, CEZ informed Areva that its bid for its EPR design had been disqualified. Areva subsequently lodged a petition with the Czech anti-monopoly office, which ruled that CEZ was correct to dismiss the bid. Areva has now requested a preliminary injunction at the Regional Court of Brno. The company has asked the court to review the office’s actions. Areva maintains that the office’s decisions do not comply with both Czech and European Union laws regarding public procurement procedures. The company said that it “remains determined to protect its right in this matter” and asks that the court cancels the decision of the anti-monopoly office with the aim of reinstating Areva’s bid in the tender process. CEZ had expected to select the reactor supplier this month and to sign the construction contract by the end of 2013. However, the selection of the winning bid has been delayed following political turmoil after the resignation in June of Czech prime minister Petr Nečas....
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Tepco goes for two nuclear restarts

27 September 2013 Tepco has made its first application to bring nuclear reactors back on line. The income from power generation would support the clean-up tasks at Fukushima Daiichi and avoid use of expensive imported fossil fuels. The application today concerned Kashiwazaki Kariwa 6 and 7, Advanced Boiling Water Reactor units built in Niigata prefecture in the late 1990s. Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has now submitted information on safety upgrades across the site and at those two reactor units that it claims meet new regulatory requirements. Although it has done work at the other units at the site, Tepco is concentrating its resources on units 6 and 7 while it deals with the clean-up at Fukushima Daiichi. The Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) will now take at least six months to check over Tepco’s application, its approval granting Tepco the legal right to restart the units. The pre-Fukushima practice of soliciting consent from local government was not legally binding and the extent of local consent that utilities must gain before restarting remains unclear in the new system. Utilities will seek consent from prefectural governments once they have NRA approval, but the final decision on restarts is said to remain with national government. Kashiwazaki Kariwa 6 and 7 are the first boiling water reactors (BWRs), to be put forward for restart. Unlike the 12 pressurized water reactors that have entered the process since July, BWRs require a filtered containment venting system (FCVS). Under the general terms of a nuclear operator’s agreement with local government, prefectural approval is required for an FCVS because its use during an emergency would mean releasing radioactivity. To meet the expectations of the governor of Niigata, Hirohiko Izumida, Tepco is installing two FCVS systems at all the Kashiwazaki Kariwa units. Izumida recently granted his approval for the FCVS to be included in Tepco’s application to restart – but is yet to grant overall approval for the systems. In operation, Kashiwazaki Kariwa 6 and 7 would generate a total of 2630 MWe and reduce the need for Tepco to spend on expensive oil and LNG-fired power generation that has substituted for nuclear power.    The Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry calculated in April that Japanese power companies have spent an additional ¥9.2 trillion ($93 billion) on imported fossil fuels since the Fukushima accident. Restart status All Japan’s 50 operational reactors are shut down, but 14 applications have...
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Construction begins on Tianwan 4

27 September 2013 The pouring of first concrete today for another Russian-supplied reactor at the Tianwan site in China’s Jiangsu province brings the total number of power reactors currently under construction in the country to 30. Tianwan 4 will be an AES-91 VVER-1000 unit designed by Gidropress and supplied by Russian state firm Rosatom. Two similar units began operating at the site in 2007, while construction of a third began in December 2012. Each of the VVERs is rated to produce 1060 MWe, while up to four further potential units of similar size are foreseen at Tianwan by Chinese planners. Under an August 2011 contract, Russia’s AtomStroyExport is the main contractor, supplying the nuclear island worth about 30% of the project value. However, an Areva-Siemens instrumentation and control system will be used. Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation (JNPC) – a joint venture between China National Nuclear Corporation (50%), China Power Investment Corporation (30%) and Jiangsu Guoxin Group (20%) – is responsible for the remaining work: the civil engineering, turbine island with equipment and related infrastructure. Tianwan units 3 and 4 – known as Tianwan Phase II – are scheduled to begin power generation in February 2018 and December 2018, respectively. The Tianwan plant is operated by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). The start of construction of Tianwan 4 closely follows that of unit 5 at the Yangjiang plant in Guangdong province. There are now 30 power reactors under construction in China, including a demonstration 210 MWe high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR) at Shidaowan in Shandong province....
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