Senin, 29 Juli 2013

...The city government of Heshan in Guangdong province said in an online statement that it would halt the 37 billion yuan ($6 billion) project by China National Nuclear Corp., which would have built facilities for uranium conversion, enrichment and manufacturing of nuclear fuel equipment....>>> ......July 12, 2013, photo, protesters who oppose the uranium processing plan in Heshan, parade through a street in Jiangmen, China. Local authorities in a southern Chinese city of Heshan on Saturday scrapped a plan to build a uranium-processing plant, one day after hundreds of local residents protested against it because of safety worries. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT...>>> ...“China’s processing capacity is undersized compared to the plants under construction, and so is its uranium and fuel supply, and that’s why the companies are busy revving things up,” said Li Ning, a specialist on nuclear power and dean of the School of Energy Research at China’s Xiamen University. China currently has 15 reactors with an aggregate installed capacity of 12.57 gigawatts (GW), but another 30 plants are under construction and due to go into operation between now and 2016, adding another 29 GW to the total. Gaining more control over the global fuel supply chain is crucial to China’s plans to increase total nuclear capacity to 58 GW by 2020, and will require not only overseas acquisitions but also more enrichment capacity. ...>>>

China struggles to secure uranium supplies after Jiangmen plant halted

Wednesday, 17 July, 2013, 10:45am

The abrupt cancellation of a US$6.5 billion uranium processing project in southern China has left Beijing with a headache as it tries to secure the fuel required to sustain an ambitious nuclear reactor building programme.
China has been buying stakes in uranium mines in Asia and Africa, but without the capacity to enrich and process the ore it will still be dependent on foreign firms to turn it into useable fuel.

The project, set to be built in Jiangmen in heavily populated Guangdong province, where many of China’s existing reactors are stationed, was called off at the weekend following protests, with the sector still struggling to convince the public that nuclear power is safe.

China’s processing capacity is undersized compared to the plants under construction
Li Ning, Xiamen University
 
The two biggest state-owned reactor builders, the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) and the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), are now scouting for new sites.

“China’s processing capacity is undersized compared to the plants under construction, and so is its uranium and fuel supply, and that’s why the companies are busy revving things up,” said Li Ning, a specialist on nuclear power and dean of the School of Energy Research at China’s Xiamen University.

China currently has 15 reactors with an aggregate installed capacity of 12.57 gigawatts (GW), but another 30 plants are under construction and due to go into operation between now and 2016, adding another 29 GW to the total.

Gaining more control over the global fuel supply chain is crucial to China’s plans to increase total nuclear capacity to 58 GW by 2020, and will require not only overseas acquisitions but also more enrichment capacity.

The plant in Guangdong was expected to cost 40 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion) and would have provided a “one-stop shop” for uranium enrichment and the fabrication of fuel rods for Chinese reactors. It was expected to begin manufacturing nuclear fuel by 2020, with annual capacity eventually set to reach 1,000 tonnes.
The China Youth Daily newspaper said it would have provided half of the country’s total nuclear fuel by the time it was completed.
Steve Kidd, senior partner at East Cliff Consulting, a British firm that advises on nuclear issues, said he was surprised the authorities backed down so quickly.
“This seemed to be a major new facility with uranium conversion and enrichment as well as fuel fabrication,” he said. “One imagines they will have to increase capacity elsewhere.”
While Beijing’s 2020 target for the amount of power to be generated from nuclear sources was scaled back after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, its 2030 target of around 200 GW remained intact. Analysts expect annual primary uranium demand to rise tenfold over the period to around 40,000 tonnes.
To meet that demand, CNNC and CGNPC have been exploring domestic uranium deposits, but a surge in imports is inevitable, and is expected to put pressure on global supplies.
The two firms have acquired stakes in deposits in Namibia, Niger and Kazakhstan, but without the processing capacity they would still have to buy enriched fuel from suppliers such as France’s Areva and US-based Westinghouse, owned by Japan’s Toshiba.
“If China doesn’t have the processing capacity then it has to import the fuel directly,” said Xiamen University’s Li. “Even if CGNPC’s mines are running they have to supply stocks to the fuel suppliers.”
The scrapped Heshan plant would have improved China’s ability to process foreign uranium, and also provided a cheaper option than importing ready-to-use nuclear fuel, especially if prices rise as expected.
China’s existing facilities in the western regions of Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi and Gansu are well-placed to handle stocks imported from Kazakhstan, but as Beijing seeks to diversify sources, buying stocks from Africa, Australia and the Americas, a new processing facility on the coast could be vital.
The Heshan project cancellation was a serious setback, but industry voices say China and its big nuclear firms will do their utmost to find an alternative as soon as they can.
“My sense is that if the government decides they are going to need a certain amount of nuclear power, which I think they have, they will build it and something like the protests that we saw a few days ago won’t stop that,” said Fletcher Newton, a uranium industry consultant.

Heshan decision to abandon uranium plant 'unjustified'

Authorities' decision to abandon plans for a uranium enrichment plant in Heshan in the face of public pressure was a mistake, experts say
Tuesday, 30 July, 2013 [Updated: 4:20AM]
When Chinese nuclear authorities approached an overseas expert about plans to build a nuclear fuel facility in Heshan, in the western Pearl River Delta, he immediately raised concerns about locating such a plant so close to a major urban area.
"It was a few years ago. I asked if they had another choice," the expert recalled to the South China Morning Post, declining to be named because of his company's policy on media interviews. "The population there seemed a bit dense, and it was a bit close to big urban areas. [Henan is only 30 kilometres from Foshan, near Guangzhou].
"I suggested that if they moved the site closer to Taishan , where a new nuclear power plant was already under construction, there would be fewer residents nearby and probably less resistance."
He went on to explain that such project needs as much land as possible to create a big enough buffer between it and residents.
But the authorities didn't listen. Still, he was surprised to hear recently that the Heshan government cancelled the project due to public contamination fears.
"There's a very low risk of radiation from a fuel plant," he said. "I can't believe they cancelled the project because of that."
A more justifiable concern was the potential threat posed by chemicals used in the enrichment process, such as highly corrosive hydrofluoric acid, which is highly regulated in the US because of its potential use in chemical terrorism.
The nuclear enrichment plant would need to store substantial amounts of hydrofluoric acid to extract pure uranium from ore. An accidental leak could blind or even kill residents nearby.
There have been occasional hydrofluoric acid accidents in China. Just last month, a leak at a chemical plant in Shangluo in Shaanxi , resulted in a large-scale evacuation.
Other dangerous chemicals are used in uranium milling and processing, including ammonia.
"To be safe, any industrial plant with harmful chemicals should be kept some distance from residential areas," he said.
But that's not why authorities said they were cancelling the Heshan project, and the move had left at least one academic shaking his head in disapproval.
Professor Gu Zhongmao , a senior scientific adviser to the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) with the China Institute of Atomic Energy, said the Heshan government's hasty surrender in light of "uninformed public fears" would become an "international joke".
The people were protesting, Gu said, because they had never been made aware of basic facts. Fears of radiation poisoning from such a plant were unfounded, as the nuclear fuel rods produced contain mostly uranium-238 - the most stable uranium isotope.
"A nuclear power plant emits less radiation than a coal-fired power plant, and a nuclear fuel plant is safer still," Gu said.
Gu conceded that the public's knowledge of such plants may be poor, but government officials should have known better.
"The best way to deal with public unrest is to tell people the truth. It is a local government's duty to inform the public about the project as much as possible," he said. "But these officials have no courage, no credibility, no accountability. They are idiots."
Nuclear energy authorities have not said whether they have a back-up site in mind, but people close to the industry said there was probably a long list of options, such as coastal areas, and Heshan was probably not the only option in Guangdong.
The Heshan site was the result of difficult negotiations between the CNNC and the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation (GDNPC).
The provincial government was been keen to support the Heshan project, with its price tag in the billions of yuan, before thousands of people took to the streets with banners and slogans in recent weeks, people familiar with the project said.
The CNNC and CGNPC were eager and ready to start the project. Site-clearing and preparation began last year, and many workers and technicians had already moved in. Many farmers were also keen on the project after they were given more information. Some were given a tour of a similar plant in Yibin , Sichuan , that is located in the heart of a residential area.
But most of the protesters were from Jiangmen city, which administers Heshan. After the project's cancellation, many nearby farmers told the Post they were disappointed and angry.
 

Uranium processing plan scrapped after protest by hundreds in southern China

 
 
 
Uranium processing plan scrapped after protest by hundreds in southern China
 

In this Friday, July 12, 2013, photo, protesters who oppose the uranium processing plan in Heshan, parade through a street in Jiangmen, China. Local authorities in a southern Chinese city of Heshan on Saturday scrapped a plan to build a uranium-processing plant, one day after hundreds of local residents protested against it because of safety worries. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

BEIJING, China - Local authorities in a southern Chinese city on Saturday scrapped a plan to build a uranium-processing plant, one day after hundreds of local residents protested against it because of safety worries.

The city government of Heshan in Guangdong province said in an online statement that it would halt the 37 billion yuan ($6 billion) project by China National Nuclear Corp., which would have built facilities for uranium conversion, enrichment and manufacturing of nuclear fuel equipment.

"The people's government of the city of Heshan has decided to respect the public opinion and will not consider CNNC's Longwan industrial park project," read the one-line announcement.

CNNC could not be immediately reached for comment, but its plans are part of national efforts to reduce China's reliance on coal and to boost the use of clean energy.

In March, the corporation signed agreements with the Heshan government regarding both land use and investment for the industrial park, according to state media.

The Saturday decision by Heshan government came after hundreds of protesters paraded through the streets of Jiangmen on Friday, holding banners and wearing T-shirts with phrases opposing the project while chanting slogans. "Give us back our rural homes. We are against nuclear radiation," they shouted in scenes seen in television video.

Heshan is part of the greater Jiangmen area. The protest was in response to a risk evaluation report of the planned project, which was released on July 4 with a 10-day public comment period. Critics say those reports usually are a formality designed to facilitate approval.

Local officials initially responded by extending the consultation period by another 10 days, but by Saturday morning they said the plan was scrapped.

Increasingly aware of environmental safety, members of the Chinese public have been taking to the streets to oppose environmentally risky projects, and local governments have yielded under public pressure in some cases — by scrapping the projects, postponing them or relocating them.

It also shows that the Chinese public has no other effective venue but street protests — which can turn violent — to voice their concerns. Environmentalists have long called on local governments to take steps allowing for greater transparency and better public involvement when introducing projects that may be environmentally risky.

Tidak ada komentar:

Poskan Komentar