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Full operation of troubled Czech nuclear plant approved


Full operation of troubled Czech nuclear plant approved

Sino-French nuclear power pact not a sure thing

TVA Plans $200M Steam Generator Job At Watts Bar Nuclear


Nuclear safety authority approves full operation of troubled Czech 

nuclear plant

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) - The Czech nuclear safety authority 

finished tests at the Temelin power plant on Monday and issued 

permission for its full use, a decision that is sure to be criticized 

by environmentalists in neighboring countries who claim the plant is 


"Today, we ended testing and received a license to fully operate both 

units," plant spokesman Milan Nebesar said.

He said the license is valid for 10 years from the date when fission 

reaction was started and will then have to be renewed. That will be 

in 2010 for the plant's first unit and in 2012 for the second.

Construction of the plant's two 1,000-megawatt units, which were 

based on Russian designs, started in the 1980s. The reactors later 

were upgraded with U.S. technology, but they have remained 

controversial because of frequent malfunctions.

Pavel Pittermann, a spokesman for the state nuclear authority, said 

his organization was aware of the malfunctions and has included some 

recommendations in the document's wording. He refused to elaborate, 

saying only that full text of the license will be available on the 

institute's Web site Tuesday.

The Temelin power station, 60 kilometers (35 miles) north of the 

Austrian border, has been a source of friction between the two 

countries. Environmentalists in Austria demand its closure, while 

Czech authorities insist it is safe.


Sino-French nuclear power pact not a sure thing

PARIS, Oct 8 (Reuters) - France is leading the international race to 

get a slice of China's multi-billion-dollar nuclear power industry in 

terms of technology and experience but industry experts say that does 

not guarantee it will win.

Lured by China's focus on nuclear generation to power its insatiabale 

energy needs, French President Jacques Chirac is visiting Beijing on 

Saturday with the heads of the world's top nuclear power producer 

Electricite de France 1/8EDF.UL 3/8 and nuclear reactor maker Areva .

China already uses French, Russian and Canadian atomic technology but 

the competitors and latecomers from the United States are beating a 

path to the world's most populous nation as it seeks to accelerate 

construction of nuclear power plants.

"China cannot allow France to think that they are 'engaged', 

otherwise other suitors will not continue to court China. All France 

can hope for is to be 'going steady' with China," said Geoffrey 

Rothwell at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in 


"China is pragmatic. It doesn't care where the technology comes from. 

It will play off the various national groups against each other, for 

example, who can offer the best financing package," Rothwell added.

China, which suffered from its worst power crunch in 20 years this 

summer due to a galloping economy and a coal squeeze, plans by 2020 

to quadruple its nuclear power capacity to 36,000 megawatts, or the 

equivalent of 27 new reactors, each with a billion-dollar price tag.

For the first time in more than five years, China approved in July 

two new 1,000 MW reactors, with another two waiting for the go-ahead.

Foreign firms will be invited to tender to build two of the four 

plants, while the other two would rely mainly on China's own 



Industry experts say the French design is the front runner in China 

in terms of international technology, with the most integrated 

nuclear energy system from fuel fabrication through to reprocessing. 

But the French model might be too expensive, which gives Russia some 


"Geopolitics is certain to play some role too. As one of the most 

friendly western nations to China, France has its advantage," said 

Hawaii-based East-West Center fellow Wu Kang, a long-time China 

energy market analyst.

Chirac declared 2004 the "Year of China," lighting up the Eiffel 

Tower in red when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited in January and 

staging lavish Chinese New Year celebrations on the Champs Elysees.

"The strongest groups are those with the closest ties with industry 

and government. These ties diversify the risks associated with 

technology development and marketing in the nuclear power industry," 

said Stanford's Rothwell.

Paris and Beijing share a vision of a multi-polar world in which the 

U.S. would not be the sole superpower, and are united in opposition 

to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq last year.

But political contacts have developed faster than economic ties and 

France wants to press home its efforts to gain more access before the 

United Sates enters China's huge market.

U.S. reactor makers General Electric Co. and Westinghouse Electric, 

the U.S. unit of state-run British Nuclear Fuels, are only runners up 

due to trade restrictions on exporting nuclear technology to China, 

analysts say.

"China may indeed wish to see the U.S. companies involved. The U.S. 

can provide a full range of advanced technologies if they are allowed 

to do so," said Wu.

Westinghouse says it expects a decision by the U.S. government by 

early 2005 on its application to build nuclear reactors in China, but 

the U.S.-UK group may be too fragmented and GE is present in China's 

arch foe Taiwan, analysts say.


For the French firms, tapping into the world's fastest growing power 

market will safeguard their leading industrial positions as 

opportunities to build nuclear plants in the West are drying up amid 

health and security concerns since the Chernobyl accident in 1986.

"Our presence in China is a vital question to maintain our industrial 

approach .... and our industrial mastery which is the prerequisite 

for our economic performance," Herve Machenaud, EDF head of Asia-

Pacific, told Reuters.

"For EDF to keep in touch, to have relationships with industry 

implies that it is obliged to be present in Chinese projects in the 

realisation, conception and operation of reactors in nuclear, coal 

and hydro," Machenaud said.

EDF has been in China's power industry for 20 years, investing in 

three generators and providing technical management and help for the 

Daya Bay and Ling Ao nuclear plants.

Building on its involvement in the technology and design of six of 

China's eight nuclear reactors, Areva Vice President, International 

and Marketing, Arthur de Montalembert said the firm was confident of 

winning contracts for the additional reactors.

"The confirmation by China to include nuclear in their energy 

development plan is a major development for us. It reinforces the 

role that Asia is playing on the nuclear energy market," said de 


But French strategy needs to take into account China's desire for 

industrial independence and eventual international competition as it 

is interested in developing a cheap, exportable design, possibly to 

sell to Pakistan.

"The Chinese are more interested in reverse engineering than in 

letting any international firm get the lion's share of the Chinese 

nuclear power market," said Rothwell.


TVA Plans $200M Steam Generator Job At Watts Bar Nuclear

CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning to 

replace all four steam generators at its Watts Bar nuclear plant in 

2006, spokesman John Moulton said Friday.

Adding the new components, each of which weighs about 360 tons, is 

seen costing about $200 million and will require an outage of 

unspecified length at the 1,170-megawatt east-central Tennessee 

plant. Moulton didn't have a more precise estimate for when the work 

will begin.

Watts Bar became the last U.S. nuclear plant to start operations when 

it began producing power in 1996. Still, despite its short operating 

history, TVA is replacing the plant's steam generators because 

industrywide experience has shown a metal called alloy 600 in the 

equipment is prone to cracking.

Steam generators use a huge array of tubes made from that metal to 

create steam, heated by the reactor, that drives turbines and makes 

electricity. Those tubes are plugged when tiny cracks are found, and 

over time the plugging lengthens maintenance outages and could even 

lead to reduced generating capacity at the plant, Moulton said.


Sandy Perle

Senior Vice President, Technical Operations

Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc.

2652 McGaw Avenue

Irvine, CA 92614 

Tel: (949) 296-2306 / (888) 437-1714  Extension 2306

Fax:(949) 296-1902 

E-Mail: sperle@dosimetry.com

E-Mail: sandyfl@earthlink.net 

Global Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com/ 

Personal Website: http://sandy-travels.com/ 


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