Monday, November 9, 2009
BELIZE NEEDS THE NEW SMALL CHINESE 100 TO 300 MEGAWATT NUCLEAR POWER PLANT - HOW TO GET IT?
BELIZE NEEDS THE NEW CHINESE 100 TO 300 MEGAWATT NUCLEAR POWER PLANT - HOW TO GET IT?
SHANGHAI -- China will start building its first large nuclear-power reactor with home-developed "fourth generation" technology in 2012-13, a senior engineer involved in developing the system said.
The Experimental Fast Reactor will have a designed annual power-generating capacity of 800 megawatts, and is due to come online around 2020, according to Xu Mi, chief engineer with the China Institute of Atomic Energy's Fast Reactor Experiment Department.
The project underscores how China is trying to take a lead in developing cutting-edge nuclear technologies at a time it is planning a massive buildup in its fleet of civil nuclear reactors. Fourth-generation technology represents an improvement over designs currently being rolled out in terms of cost, fuel efficiency and safety.
One problem China will face, even if it develops and employs more-advanced reactors, is the lack of enough uranium at home to supply them. That means that China will become increasingly reliant on imports to fuel its economy, which in turn means it is likely to intensify its buying of foreign assets -- a scenario already playing out with its other energy sources: oil, gas and coal.
China, which gets less than 2% of its power-generating capacity from its 11 nuclear reactors, plans to build dozens more reactors by 2020, bringing the sector's share to 5% of its generating capacity, or about 70,000 megawatts.
In May, China's top energy official, National Energy Administration head Zhang Guobao, said under longer-range plans China is expected to have more than 100 reactors in 20 years, matching the current level of the U.S.
The fourth-generation fast reactor, to be located in Fujian province's Sanming city, will be 51%-owned by China National Nuclear Corp., the nation's top nuclear-power developer by capacity, Mr. Xu said. The China Institute of Atomic Energy is a research unit run by CNNC.
Another Chinese company, utility China Huaneng Group, also is doing a trial of its own fourth-generation reactor, but it is designed on a much smaller scale, of around 100 megawatts.
China is already at the forefront. In March it started to build the world's first AP1000 third-generation reactor, pioneered by Westinghouse Electric Co. of the U.S., a unit of Toshiba Corp. It is located in Sanmen in Zhejiang province, and has a designed power capacity of 1,250 megawatts.
In 2007, China agreed to buy four third-generation pressurized water reactors from Westinghouse -- two in Sanmen and two in Haiyang city in Shandong province. The pact involved the transfer of AP1000 technology. China also has access to advanced French nuclear technology. France's Areva SA in November 2007 signed an €8 billion ($11.8 billion) contract to build and supply fuel for two third-generation nuclear reactors in China.
China will need to become a significant uranium importer to power all of the reactors it plans to build, Mr. Xu said.
China doesn't publish uranium output data, but CNNC said in August it aims to raise its domestic uranium output to 2,000 tons a year by 2020. Five uranium mines now operate in China, producing about 840 tons a year, according to the World Nuclear Association.
In November 2008, China's Ministry of Commerce approved Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co. as the second company allowed to import uranium for civil use. With an eye on future uranium needs, Guangdong Nuclear in September bid for control of Australia's uranium-exploration company Energy Metals Ltd.
CNNC next year will ship home a batch of 700 tons of the fuel from its mine in Jordan, marking a first from overseas projects it has in six countries.
This time, FORTIS should not control such a power plant supply, but should be a government corporation, or some other investment group?
Posted by A Professional BEACH BUM retires in Belize! at 3:26 AM