1. China's Energy Administration (Regulates China's nuclear and other energy industries) is moving to allow more power companies are able to build and operate nuclear power plants.
Soon independent power producers like Huaneng Power International Inc. (HNP) and Datang International Power Generation Co. (0991.HK), could join the ranks of approved developers like China National Nuclear Corp., China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corp., and China Power Investment Corp., the Yuanta analyst said.
In a research note, Min said that Sichuan and Guangxi provinces may follow other areas like Jiangxi, Hunan and Hubei in building inland nuclear power plants
2. Belgian nuclear scientists have been given the go-ahead to work towards an advanced new research reactor system (the Multipurpose Hybrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications, Myrhha) with a role in researching the transmutation of wastes.
SCK-CEN is hoping to start construction in 2015 and begin the first phase of operation in 2023. SCK-CEN said the total budget could be around €1 billion ($1.3 billion) and the project should create about 2000 long-term jobs.
Myhhra would be unique as a sub-critical assembly relying on an accelerator to achieve periods of criticality. It would use a core of low-enriched uranium and would develop 57 MWt, using lead-bismuth as coolant. Later, the accelerator could be removed for separate use and the reactor could become a more conventional fast-neutron irradiation facility.
3. India's nuclear industry is preparing for a major expansion after assuring international cooperation with a round of cooperation deals.
The next seven to eight years will see the annual requirement for new recruits in the Indian nuclear industry rise to around 1900. Nuclear Power Corporation of India's internal training programs currently provide about 250 engineers annually. In addition to this, Homi Bhabha National Institute, a government university with ten facilities around the country, trains 400 to 600 recruits every year. The Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and Kharakpur also run postgraduate courses in nuclear related fields, but with limited seats. So about twice as many nuclear engineers need to be trained each year.
India's current nuclear power capacity of 4340 MW is expected to reach 7280 MW by March 2012 with the progressive completion of projects under construction. 2800 MW of capacity addition by 2016/2017 have already been approved. More projects are also planned in future to further increase the nuclear power capacity.
4. China's nuclear companies are looking at IPO's to finance overseas expansion.
China National Nuclear Corp., the country’s biggest operator of atomic power plants, may sell shares publicly to fund overseas projects as demand for clean energy increases, President Sun Qin said.
China is urging nuclear equipment makers including rival China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group to partner with foreign firms to build reactors abroad.
South Korea aims to get $400 billion of nuclear contracts by 2030. Korea Electric is in talks with at least five countries including Turkey, Jordan and Malaysia to build atomic plants after winning an order from the United Arab Emirates
5. Li Ka-Shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, confirmed today that he will bid for the British arm of the French state electricity giant, EDF, later this month.
The bid will be a joint venture between holding company Cheung Kong Infrastucture (CKI), Hong Kong’s leading energy infrastructure company, and Hong Kong Electric, which is 40 per cent owned by CKI.
EDF, which is 85 per cent owned by the French state, said in October last year that it was putting its UK wires business up for sale. It includes about 100,000 miles of cables supplying electricity to 15 million people across London, the South East and the East of England, a region that generates 40 per cent of Britain’s GDP. The business provides power for Heathrow and Gatwick airports, as well as London’s Underground and rail networks, Canary Wharf in Docklands and the Channel Tunnel.
EDF is seeking to raise €5 billion (£4.5 billion) to reduce its debt levels. EDF’s borrowings have swelled over the past year after its £12.5 billion acquisition of British Energy, the nuclear generator, and a stake in Constellation Energy.
Mr Ka-Shing, 81 is Hong Kong’s richest man, with a US$21.3 billion fortune, according to Forbes, the business magazine. He was ranked the world’s 16th wealthiest person in November and correctly predicted in 2007 that China's stock market was in a "bubble."