China is revising plans for a huge nuclear fuel centre, dropping the previously announced location in Guangdong province as the relationship between the Chinese state and one of the joint venture partners changes.
At a projected cost of CNY45 billion ($7.32 billion) the Heshan Nuclear Power Industry Park was to be a one-stop complex for nuclear fuel, featuring facilities for conversion and uranium enrichment as well as manufacturing of fuel pellets, rods and finished assemblies. It was to be a joint venture between China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) and China General Nuclear (CGN), intended to produce about two thirds of the nuclear fuel required by their reactors.
Between them, the companies plan to have some 50-60 large reactors generating a total of about 60,000 MWe from around 2020. More than half are already operating or under construction.
The cancellation of Heshan was said to be a reaction to public objection, but it comes at the same time as major corporate changes for CGN. The company formerly known as China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp is being reoriented away from that province and towards central management from Beijing. The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) is negotiating to buy some 83% of CGN's shares - 30% from Guangdong province and 37% from CNNC as well as CPI's 10%. The transfer will leave Guangdong with 10% and CNNC with 8%. Accordingly, CGN's headquarters is to be moved from Shenzhen in Guangdong province to Beijing.
The joint venture partners are now looking again at a range of siting options.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News