FRANCE - CHINA NUCLEAR COOPERATION
WNN - Cooperation on nuclear power technology is to be expanded between China General Nuclear (CGN) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) under an agreement signed yesterday in Beijing. New Areva and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) have also agreed to work towards signing a contract for the construction of a used fuel processing and recycling facility in China.
The agreements were signed during the first visit to China by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Announced on the website of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the cooperation agreement between CEA and CGN focuses on areas such as nuclear reactor technology, advanced fuels and materials, and the nuclear fuel cycle. CGN and CEA will deepen cooperation in the upstream and downstream nuclear power industry supply chain, including reactor life management and the concept design of fourth-generation nuclear power technology.
CGN is the largest nuclear power operator in China, having 20 reactors in operation with a combined generating capacity of 21.47 GWe. It has a further eight units under construction, which will add a further 10.27 GWe of capacity.
The CEA is a key player in research, development and innovation in France. Its four main areas are: defence and security; nuclear and renewable energies; technological research for industry; and fundamental research in the physical sciences and life sciences. It is established in nine centres around France.
Meanwhile, New Areva and CNNC signed a memorandum of commercial agreement for the construction of a used fuel processing and recycling facility in China.
The partners signed an agreement in November 2007 to assess the feasibility of setting up an 800 tonne per year reprocessing plant in China based on Areva's La Hague and Melox plants and contract negotiations have continued since then.
In a statement, Areva said: "Through this memorandum, New Areva and CNNC reaffirm their mutual commitment to complete the negotiations of the contract for the Chinese commercial used fuel treatment-recycling plant project at the soonest, to launch the project in 2018, and acknowledge the substantial progress made in the negotiations during the past few months."
New Areva CEO Philippe Knoche said, "CNNC and New Areva have stepped up their efforts to reach agreement on the contract and we are seeing today very positive results." He added, "I am looking forward to finalising the negotiations soon and starting the implementation of this landmark project with our partner CNNC in 2018."
While France and China have cooperated on nuclear energy for over 30 years, in March 2014 a joint statement was issued by then French President Francois Hollande and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two leaders pledged to encourage "industrial and institutional" stakeholders in both nations to advance cooperation efforts in the entire nuclear fuel cycle, including nuclear power plant safety, used fuel recycling, new build projects and uranium mining.
China and France signed a number of nuclear cooperation agreements in July 2015, with Areva and CNNC agreeing to cooperate in the nuclear fuel cycle, including the extraction and conversion of uranium, fabrication of zirconium fuel assemblies, decommissioning, transportation and recycling.
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WNA - Apart from adding capacity, utilisation of existing plants has improved markedly since 2000. In the 1990s capacity factors averaged around 60%, but they have steadily improved since and in 2010, 2011 and 2014 were above 81%. Balakovo was the best plant in 2011 with 92.5%, and again in 2014 with 85.1%.
WNA - India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024 and 63 GWe by 2032. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
WNA - Mainland China has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. The reactors under construction include some of the world's most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
PLATTS - "The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.