US, France press for Japan-India nuclear deal

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by satyam, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. satyam

    satyam New Member

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    The United States and France have urged Japan to sign a nuclear deal with India, a move that would clear the way for General Electric Co and France's Areva to use Japanese suppliers for nuclear projects in the country, the Nikkei reported.

    Nuclear giant Areva and a US consortium led by General Electric have each won orders for two reactors in India, but Japan's technologies are deemed indispensable to completing the projects, the business daily said. Both Areva and GE use reactor vessels made by Japan Steel Works Ltd. GE, in particular, relies heavily on Hitachi Ltd in nuclear reactor projects, the daily said.

    Japan has declined to sign a civilian pact with India because the nation is not a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), thus barring Japanese companies from supplying nuclear products to India, the Nikkei said.
    The requests from the French and US governments could present a conundrum for the new government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the Nikkei said, adding that many in the government are against giving special treatment to India.

    Japanese manufacturers, such as Toshiba Corp and Hitachi, are concerned that they will miss out on business opportunities in India, the daily said.

    Companies from the United States, France, Russia and South Korea are scrambling to win orders for the more than 20 foreign-made large nuclear power plants that India plans to install by 2020 due to growing power demand, the Nikkei said.

    http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/us-france-press-for-japan-india-nuclear-deal/97265/on
     
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  3. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Important alert!



    Nuclear Accident Forces China, India Policy Review as Nations See Safety Backlash

    By Bloomberg News - Mar 13, 2011 3:34 PM ET


    Japan’s worst nuclear accident in at least 33 years has compelled China and India to review plans for atomic energy that were set to provide a boon for suppliers including Areva SA (CEI) and General Electric Co. (GE)

    The potential meltdown at a nuclear plant struck by Japan’s record temblor may be “a big dampener” on India’s program, Shreyans Kumar Jain, chairman of the Nuclear Power Corp. of India, said in Mumbai. The accident may become a factor in the drafting of China’s energy plans, Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said in Beijing.

    India plans to spend $175 billion by 2030 on nuclear generation while China is adding 27 reactors in five years as the two most-populous nations seek cleaner energy sources to propel economic growth. Japan’s accident, a month shy of the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, may reignite debate about the safety of atomic energy, Nuclear Power’s Jain said.

    “The Japan accident has created a very, very tough situation for India, actual implementation of nuclear power projects will now certainly take a backseat,” said Debasish Mishra, Mumbai-based senior director at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. “It will be very difficult to sell the idea of nuclear power to people for any political party after the Japan disaster.”

    The earthquake on March 11 knocked out generators at the plant in Fukushima needed to keep the reactors cool, raising the prospect of a meltdown at the facility. Authorities evacuated tens of thousands of people living within a 20 kilometer (12 mile) radius after an explosion destroyed walls surrounding one of the reactors and radioactive material leaked into the atmosphere.

    ‘Big Dampener’

    “This event may be a big dampener for our program,” Jain, chairman of India’s state-run monopoly producer, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “We and the Department of Atomic Energy will definitely revisit the entire thing, including our new reactor plans, after we receive more information from Japan.”

    State-owned Nuclear Power has sought more information on the accident from the World Association of Nuclear Operators, the International Atomic Energy Agency and its own official stationed at Tokyo, Jain said.

    In China, the government won’t change its plans to develop nuclear power, Zhang Lijun, vice minister of environmental protection, said a day after the 8.9-magnitude temblor struck off the eastern coast of Japan. Local media said the death toll from the quake and ensuing tsunami may exceed 10,000.
    Cut Emissions

    China has pledged to cut carbon emissions by switching to clean energy such as nuclear and wind power. It wants at least 15 percent of its energy mix to come from non-fossil fuels by 2020 and is building more atomic plants to help meet that goal.

    The nation’s energy planners say they aim to have 40 reactors by 2015 and, by 2030, enough additional reactors to generate more power than all 104 reactors in the U.S., the leader in nuclear energy. China National Nuclear Corp., the country’s largest reactor builder, and rival China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co. are looking to foreign companies such as Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric Co. and Areva for their reactor technology, components supply as well as help with construction.

    The nation’s nuclear power capacity may reach 40 gigawatts by 2015 and exceed 70 gigawatts by 2020, Han Wenke, head of energy research at the NDRC, said last June. China had 10.82 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity as of the end of 2010, the state-owned China Electricity Council said in February.
    No Longer Sacrifice

    Premier Wen Jiabao, who will today hold his annual press conference at the end of the National People’s Congress, said last month that China can no longer sacrifice the environment to achieve economic growth.

    “The accident in Japan may trigger increased public concerns over building atomic plants,” said Dave Dai, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets Co. “China will become more cautious while developing nuclear-power plants but is unlikely to alter its long-term nuclear development plans.”

    The Chinese economy, which more than doubled in the past five years, surpassed Japan’s in 2010 to become the world’s second biggest. It is also the world’s biggest energy consumer and its largest polluter.

    Most of the 155 reactors planned worldwide are in Asia, according to the World Nuclear Association. There are 442 reactors worldwide that supply about 15 percent of electricity and a further 65 are under construction, the association said on its website.
    More Scrutiny

    Global expansion of nuclear power may draw more scrutiny and skepticism as the world watches Japan struggle to prevent the meltdown, said Peter Bradford, a former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt declined to comment about Japan in New Delhi yesterday. Immelt is scheduled to brief reporters at an unrelated event in India’s capital today.

    “In general, our business is going very well, but the situation in Japan is troubling,” said Vaughn Gilbert, a spokesman for Toshiba Corp. (6502)’s Westinghouse nuclear unit.

    Patricia Marie, spokeswoman for Areva, declined to comment.

    China has also been the site of some of the world’s most devastating earthquakes. A 7.5-magnitude temblor in northeastern China’s Tangshan killed 250,000 people in 1976, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. At least 87,000 people died in 2008 in a 7.9-magnitude quake in the southwestern province of Sichuan. A 5.8-magnitude temblor in southern China’s Yunnan province last week killed at least 25 people.

    Indian reactors at Kakrapar in western Gujarat state and Kudankulam in the southern state of Tamil Nadu have survived an earthquake in 2001 and a tsunami in 2004, without any safety scares, Nuclear Power’s Jain said.

    “But that doesn’t mean we can be happy,” Jain said. “Our new launches will have to keep in mind public sentiment and naturally this process won’t happen overnight.”


    --Archana Chaudhary and Wang Ying. With assistance from Greg Turk in Beijing and Subramaniam Sharma and Kartikay Mehrotra in New Delhi. Editors: Stephen Foxwell, **** Schumacher.

    To contact the Bloomberg staff on this story: Archana Chaudhary in Mumbai at [email protected]; Wang Ying in Beijing at [email protected]



    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-...rt-boon-to-areva-ge-in-china-india-plans.html
     
  4. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    This accident is certainly bad Mojo for nuclear power sales. Countries will be looking for reactors with numerous redundant safeguards. Fortunately that goes in favour of French reactors and not Russian/South Korean.
     
  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Interesting. Areva is known to make good reactors. However, what determines that reactors from a certain country are safer than the others? This news article needs to be mentioned here: India unveils 'world's safest nuclear reactor'.
     
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Indian N-plants 'safe' but safety audit on cards

    Indian N-plants 'safe' but safety audit on cards

    Srinivas Laxman/Stanley G Pinto, TNN | Mar 13, 2011; Times of India

    MUMBAI/MANGALORE: The radiation leak in Japan is raising safety concerns in India, bringing the focus back on our crisis management plans.

    How good are our safety procedures? How quick are our evacuation plans? Scientists say India's nuclear power plants have fool-proof safety profiles; they have been designed with worst-case scenarios in mind. But, following the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, India must now review safety.

    "The safety features of Indian nuclear plants have to be rechecked to assess whether they can tackle inoperable situations," says former Atomic Energy Commission chairman and its current member, M R Srinivasan, who has visited the Fukushima plant.

    "It was constructed to withstand natural calamities. But what happened on Friday was something unusual: It was a deadly combination of a strong earthquake and a tsunami which struck the nuclear plant and damaged it."

    Once details emerge about the Japanese nuclear incident, Indian nuclear scientists are likely to highlight the stress points and prepare a detailed safety audit for nuclear plants in India, especially their preparedness in unforeseen circumstances.

    Nuclear reactors are designed to withstand earthquakes specific to the seismic zones they are located in. In the case of Fukushima, it is clear the intensity of the earthquake was more than what the plant was designed to withstand.

    How safe are our nuclear plants in Kaiga (Karnataka) and Kalpakkam (Tamil Nadu)? Scientists say there is no danger to the Kaiga plant since it has been set up on a high point and is far away from the coast.

    In fact, the Kalpakkam plant did not suffer any damage during the 2004 tsunami. An additional wall was built to protect the plant after the tsunami.

    Similarly, when Gujarat was struck by an earthquake in 2001, it had no impact on the Kakrapar atomic power station near Surat.

    The design of a nuclear reactor is location specific. "The thickness and the height of their walls are planned considering the area where a plant is set up," says chief spokesperson, department of atomic energy, S K Malhotra.

    "There are two fast-acting independent and diverse shutdown systems at Kaiga. We also have a safety measures committee which conducts a mock exercise every two years to check the preparedness of different departments in case of an emergency," says G P Gupta, site director, Kaiga nuclear station.

    "The Kalpakkam plant was saved when a tsunami hit Tamil Nadu's coast because a decision had been taken to install electrical systems about 50 ft above the ground. Consequently, nothing was submerged when the area was struck by the tsunami," says a former chairman of AEC, P K Iyengar.

    Now, given the intensity of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, nuclear scientists will have to be prepared for extreme, or inoperable, situations.

    Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...safety-audit-on-cards/articleshow/7689689.cms
     
  7. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    The thickness and materials of the containment walls, the level of walls, redundant power backups, life of the emergency cooling batteries, its earthquake rating, reliability of emergency shutdown fluids and pumps in many disaster situations...

    Well, it certainly would be safer... if it ever gets built.
     

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