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The Sushi Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:50 PM
Original message
U.S. Firm to Build China Nuke Reactors

BEIJING (AP) - China and the United States on Saturday signed an agreement that paves the way for Westinghouse Electric Co. to build four civilian nuclear reactors in China, a multibillion dollar coup for U.S. business over French and Russian competitors.

A memorandum of understanding supporting the transfer of nuclear technology to China was signed by China's Minister for the National Development and Reform Commission Ma Kai and U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.

``This is an exciting day for the U.S. nuclear industry,'' Bodman said at the ceremony. ``It is an example that if we work together we can advance not only our trade relations but also our common goal of energy security.''
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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. China to Buy 4 Westinghouse Nuclear Reactors
China will buy four Westinghouse nuclear reactors in a deal that shows the continued attractiveness of American technology, but may also stir worries in Washington that the United States is selling its competitive advantage one industry at a time.

Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman of the United States and Ma Kai, the minister of Chinas National Development and Reform Commission, signed a memorandum of understanding for the reactors in Beijing on Saturday. The deal calls for the state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation to buy the reactors from Westinghouse Electric, which the Toshiba Corporation, based in Tokyo, bought earlier this year.

Neither side announced a value for the reactors. But outside analysts have suggested the total price tag may be $5 billion to $8 billion.

Michael R. Wessel, a commissioner of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which was created by Congress to review bilateral relations, expressed concern on Sunday that based on the broad outlines of the deal, it appears they are doing what other companies have done, which is to transfer the technology upfront.
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Stunning figures from the end of the article:
Westinghouse and its rivals still have a chance at further orders. The International Energy Agency predicted last month that Chinas nuclear power generation capacity would increase by 9,000 megawatts by 2015, to 15,000 megawatts. The four reactors announced on Saturday, which are to be completed by 2013, will each have a capacity of 1,100 megawatts.

The transaction is not big enough to make much of a difference in Chinas contribution to global warming or air pollution, as Chinas reliance on coal will continue to dwarf its use of nuclear energy in the years ahead, energy specialists said.

The International Energy Agency projects that China will add 331,000 megawatts of coal-fired generating capacity by 2015, for a total of 638,000 megawatts. That is the main reason China is expected to move past the United States in 2009 as the worlds largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas.

Mr. Bodman announced separately in Beijing that the United States would work with China to find ways to make coal-fired plants more efficient, and to capture and store the carbon dioxide that they release.

Mmm-kay, let's run some numbers here. China will have 638,000 megawatts of electricity coming from coal-fired plants in 2015, and an increase of 4,400 megawatts due to these 4 nuclear reactors being installed. That means that adding these 4 nuke plants will reduce their carbon output by .7%, which is hardly worth the danger of having the nuke plants around in the first place!

We need major changes in energy production on this planet, and we need them now! We need to pull out of Iraq and spend that stupid $100 Billion dollars on research for new energy sources!
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. They have the capacity to destroy the world already.
As do we and other countries.

It's just business and no doubt the US will find something new to rebuild the competitive attractiveness, it's always just a matter of time.


Even the pessimist in me can't see how this business deal would do much of anything 'bad'. And compared to other sources of fuel, nuclear is CLEAN and that's what counts most. Clean energy, if properly maintained (no more Chernobyls... :D )
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nebula Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Don't see how nuclear energy can be called clean
Edited on Sun Dec-17-06 07:45 PM by nebula
Given the large amounts of radioactive waste it produces.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 04:31 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. The waste is containable
Too bad the same can't be said of coal power, which currently supplies most of the world's power and kills hundreds of thousands annually.

Unfortunately there are almost no truly clean energy sources, just risk-minimized ones.
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. We're exporting TO China?
And importing money? Holy shit, what a reversal!

Well, it's a start, at least. It may not reduce CO2 emissions much on a percentage basis, but it's still a hell of a lot of soot, heavy-metal vapors, and carbon dioxide NOT going up into the atmosphere.

As to the waste byproducts, a lot of that can be reprocessed and used again as nuclear fuel if we ever get the reactors with that capability built.

And if we were spending the Iraqi war money on building a space elevator, we could cheaply and safely launch all the toxic nuclear waste into the Sun.

Not to mention developing nuclear fusion instead of nuclear fission. Deuterium plus deuterium equals helium and energy. Nothing radioactive, no toxic by-products. And deuterium can be filtered from any water source because it is a naturally-occuring element at 154 ppm or so.
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. Westinghouse is not a US firm
They were a British firm and were recently sold to Toshiba. Originally, they were a US firm, but were sold to the Brits in the 90s.

Their nuclear business is based in the US, but they are still taking orders from Japan now.
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The Sushi Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 02:40 AM
Response to Original message
6. Sunday kick!
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