August 10, 2010

China, Japan and Vietnam Nuclear Updates

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1. Nuclear development in China has continued apace with the grid connection of a new reactor, the completion of a reactor building and a heavy forging deal.

* The third reactor (650 MWe) at Qinshan Phase II nuclear power plant was connected to the East China Power Grid just before midnight on 1 August. Qinshan II-3 is due to enter full commercial operation next year
* Another CNP-600 is also under construction at Qinshan, about one year behind, while four more are planned for the Changjiang site. Apart from two Areva EPRs being built at Taishan, the bulk of of China's new build program is based on CPR-1000s, Westinghouse AP1000s and then larger domestic derivatives of this.
* Meanwhile in Fujian province, China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation celebrated the addition of Ningde 2's reactor dome - a full 68 days ahead of schedule, it said. This unit is a CPR-1000 slated to start commercial operation late in 2012

2. Japanese companies led by Tokyo Electric Power Co., which last month formed a venture to jointly bid for nuclear contracts, will target the Middle East if their strategy is successful in Vietnam.

“We learnt our lesson from our unsuccessful bid for the U.A.E. nuclear program,” Tsunehisa Katsumata said in an interview today in Abu Dhabi, which is hosting a two-day Japan forum. “We decided to set up a ‘one-stop shop’ because we understand that is what emerging-market countries need.”

Toshiba Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. are among six Japanese companies in the venture as the country aims to compete with France, Russia, Canada, and the U.S. in the expanding global reactor market. Toshiba said July 12 it plans to pursue nuclear power contracts in Saudi Arabia. Vietnam said in June it plans to build as many as 13 atomic plants with a capacity of 16,000 megawatts over the next two decades.

3. Tokyo Electric Power Company's (Tepco's) Fukushima I unit 3 is set to become the third Japanese nuclear reactor to load mixed oxide (MOX) fuel

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