News Watch 103 (November/December 2004) Nuke Info Tokyo No. 103


Hitachi Joins in the Development of ESBWR in the U.S.

Mitsubishi to Tender for New Reactors in China

Government/Industry Panel Formed to Discuss Reactor Export

METI Launches a Study Group for Developing Energy Businesses in Asia

FNCA Holds First Study Panel Meeting

Saga Town Rejects High-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility

Hitachi Joins in the Development of ESBWR in the U.S.Hitachi Industries Co., Ltd. recently revealed that it would take part in the development of a next generation reactor in the United States. The reactor, known as the European Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR), is a natural circulation type based on the BWR, with an output of around 1,400 MW. GE has already completed the basic design. It is expected to file an application for design certification to NRC next year and complete technical development by 2010.

Hitachi has also been working on the development of the Advanced Canadian Reactor (ACR) (700 MW) jointly with Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd. and Bechtel and Dominion Resources of the United States. It is hoping to win orders in the US and China.

Mitsubishi to Tender for New Reactors in ChinaMitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) revealed in October that it had received an official request for proposal from China in regard to the international bidding for four reactors: two 1,000 MW Pressurized Water Reactors each for the planned Sanmen and Yangjian nuclear power plants.

MHI plans to form a consortium with Westinghouse and Bechtel, and bid for them with the Westinghouse designed AP 1000 (Advanced Passive 1000).

Government/Industry Panel Formed to Discuss Reactor ExportOn November 5, the Ministries of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc. (JAIF) launched a “Panel on an International Vision for Nuclear Power”. Members include executive officers of power companies, manufacturers, trading companies, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, as well as people from the mass media, lawyers and academics. The Panel is scheduled to compile a report by January next year.

Meetings are closed. Discussions will relate to issues necessary for arranging a system to allow Japanese manufacturers to export whole nuclear plants, rather than just parts. Topics listed include indemnity, safety regulations, security measures, infrastructure development, and financing.

Target countries include Vietnam and Indonesia. It is believed that consideration is being given to the export of reactors in the 300 to 400 MW range.

METI Launches a Study Group for Developing Energy Businesses in AsiaOn October 13 the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry launched a Study Group for Developing Energy-Related Businesses in Asia. Membership consists of electric power, gas, oil, heavy electrical machinery and trading companies, as well as METI. This is a part of the Asia Energy Partnership Task Force that METI set up within the ministry this summer. The group is expected to explore possibilities for developing a wide-range of energy business areas, including electric power, nuclear power, clean coal technology, gas supply, oil, energy service companies (ESCO), cogeneration and renewable energy.

FNCA Holds First Study Panel MeetingThe Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA), organized by Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission, held its first study panel meeting in Tokyo on October 20-21. Its theme was “the Role of Nuclear Energy in the Sustainable Development of Asia.” In addition to Japan, China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam participated. Reports were presented by five countries, including China and Indonesia, on their mid- and long-term energy plans and trends in nuclear development.

China reported that by 2020 it would increase nuclear power capacity to 36 GW, aiming to increase the share of nuclear power in the total generated output to 4%. Indonesia reported that Badan Tenga Atom Nasional (Atomic Energy Agency or BATAN) proposed to the government that it would commence operations at its first nuclear power reactor by 2016.

Saga Town Rejects High-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal FacilityOn September 16, the town council of Saga Town, Kochi Prefecture, decided to reject a petition submitted by some residents proposing that the town become a candidate site for a high-level radioactive waste disposal facility. The petition was submitted in December 2003 under the joint signatures of about 30 town residents. Four neighboring municipal councils had passed resolutions against the petition. On September 6 the Saga Town Fisherpeople’s Cooperative had submitted a petition opposing the proposal.
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