Leaked Documents Show US Lobbying for GE for China building plans for 50 nuclear power plants by 2020 using 60s era technology.

China building 50 nuclear power plants by 2020 using 60s era technology. Cable shows US works as lobbyist for GE: http://t.co/XED4UKC

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08BEIJING3362 2008-08-29 09:38 2011-08-26 00:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Beijing
P 290938Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9634
INFO DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
NOAA NMFS WASHDC
NSF WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
SECDEF WASHDC
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY SEOUL
USEU BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY VIENNA
CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
AMCONSUL HONG KONG
NRC WASHDC
AIT TAIPEI 7056
UNCLAS BEIJING 003362

STATE FOR OES/SAT, EAP/CM, ISN/MDSP AND T, AND FOR ISN/NESS R.
DELABARRE, P. COMELLA
USDOE FOR INTERNATIONAL/FREDRIKSEN, YOSHIDA, BISCONTI, AND BALLOU
USDOE FOR NNSA/SCHEINMAN, BIENIAWSKI, HUIZENGA, AND KROL
USDOE FOR NE/SPURGEON AND MCGINNIS
USNRC FOR ROSALES-COOPER
USDOC FOR 4420/ITA/MAC KASOFF
TOKYO FOR DOE ATTACHE CHERRY

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG KNNP TPHY PREL CH
SUBJECT: EFFECTIVE NUCLEAR ADVOCACY IN CHINA

REF: A. 2008 Beijing 3055, B. 2008 Beijing 1137, C. 2008 Beijing
1136, D. 2008 Beijing 2863

¶1. (SBU) Summary and Comment. Effective advocacy for U.S. nuclear
suppliers is essential to ensuring access to China’s rapidly growing
civil nuclear power market. With the exception of the bidding
process that resulted in a contract for four Westinghouse AP1000
reactors, all reactor purchases to date have been largely the result
of internal high level political decisions absent any open process.
Even the Westinghouse decision was arguably a political one, which
was quickly followed by subsequent non-competitive purchases of the
competing French and Russian plants. China is currently in the
process of building as many as 50 to 60 new nuclear plants by 2020;
the vast majority will be the CPR-1000, a copy of 60’s era
Westinghouse technology that can be built cheaply and quickly and
with the majority of parts sourced from Chinese manufacturers.
Because both GE and Westinghouse have requested advocacy for nuclear
sales in China, our efforts have been tempered by the requirement of
being technology neutral; however, GE’s ABWR and Westinghouse’s
AP1000 share one major technology and safety feature that is not
matched by any of the domestic or international competitors in
China’s market, namely passive safety systems (i.e., no human
intervention is required, the systems rely on physical phenomena
such as natural convection). Pressing for open and transparent
bidding processes for reactor sales (for complete plants or
individual major component purchases), as well as advocating for
China to pursue advanced reactor technology for future sites so that
it’s reactor fleet is not so reliant on aging technology through the
next half century could be a more effective approach to bolster U.S.
intrests in China’s nuclear market. Regardless ofhow the United
States decides to advocate, it should be done continuously and from
a high level in order to keep up with the French and Rssians. End
summary and comment.

Reactor urchases Largely a Political Decision
——————————————— -

¶2. (SBU) Throughout the history of China’s civil nuclear program,
China has made a point of only pursuing PWR (pressurized water
reactor) technology for its nuclear power fleet. Of China’s
existing reactor fleet, none have been chosen through open and
transparent bid processes. (Note: China has one compleely
indigenous reactor at Qinshan, designed and built by the state-owned
China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), four reactors at Daya Bay
that were imported and largely built by Framatome, predecessor to
French nuclear conglomerate Areva (and direct copies of a
Westinghouse reactor imported by France in the 1960s and then
nationalized); two more reactors at Qinshan that are basically
downgraded copies of the Daya Bay reactors (2/3 of the power); two
Canadian natural uranium reactors at Qinshan (again purchased absent
any international or internal bid process, said to have been a
political decision by various contacts in the Chinese nuclear
industry); and two Russian reactors at Tianwan (again no bid
process, again a “political decision”) End note).

Westinghouse Won, Sort of
————————-

¶3. (SBU) China’s nuclear power program has only ever had one open
bidding process. The three bidders were Westinghouse (the AP1000),
Areva (EPR), and AtomStroyExport (VVER-1000, same as Tianwan).
Westinghouse won the contract for four reactors, two each at Sanmen
and Haiyang. Subsequently, China announced a $16 billion dollar
deal with Areva for two EPRs, 20 years of fuel, and unspecified
assistance on reprocessing fuel, and another deal for an unspecified

amount for two more VVER-1000s to be built at Tianwan (possibly
linked to sale of enrichment equipment by Russia). Of the 30 or so
reactors currently under construction or announced, there are 4
AP1000s, 2 EPRs, 2 VVERs, and nearly two dozen CPR-1000s, China’s
copy of the Framatome reactors at Daya Bay.

Opportunities for U.S. Companies
——————————–

¶4. (SBU) Zhang Guobao of the National Energy Administration (NEA)
has indicated on numerous occasions he plans to increase China’s
nuclear power capacity goal in 2020 to 50-60 GW (the current goal is
40 GW). This is equal to another 10-20 reactors that will need to
be started within the next five to six years. The first of these
will probably be at interior sites (Note: all of China’s nuclear
power is currently on the coast. End note). The urgency of
building plants in interior provinces was highlighted by the
widespread blackouts caused by the snowstorms this winter.
Westinghouse has asked for advocacy for these interior plants; China
has not yet announced any bidding process, and we do not even know
for sure that there will be one. (Comment: At this juncture, it
appears a formal bid process is highly unlikely. The most probable
scenario is that a high level decision will be made on which
technology to pursue, but there will be no full-plant contract; the
sites will directly procure individual components, lessening
potential scope for U.S. companies. End comment)

Potential Market for GE’s ABWR
——————————

¶5. (SBU) In response to GE’s request for advocacy on nuclear
technology sales to China, an Embassy group met with Beijing-based
GE representatives to better understand GE’s opportunities in China.
GE Nuclear was specifically not invited to bid in the previous
round because China had no interest in GE’s boiling water reactor
(BWR) technology. According to GE nuclear representative Jordan
Duan, GE China has heard from contacts within China’s nuclear
industry that China is warming up to the prospect of acquiring BWR
technology, although the National Development and Reform Commission
(NDRC) continues to espouse a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)-only
platform. Duan said these industry contacts believe BWR technology
would be useful to China’s nuclear expansion because it will
increase the number of available vendors from which major components
can be sourced (CNNC specifically was worried that China’s maximum
capacity for CPR-1000 construction by 2020 is 30 GW), and BWRs use
fewer major components (no pressurizer, no steam generator). GE and
its Japanese partner Hitachi have already built four Advanced
Boiling Water Reactors (ABWR), with another six under construction
in Japan and Taiwan, and have a proven 37 month construction
schedule, compared to at least 48 months for PWRs. The ABWR is the
only Gen III reactor currently operating. Finally, the operating
ABWRs in Japan were very near the epicenter of a major earthquake
last year but emerged undamaged and with no radiation releases; none
of the competing technologies have been tested under such conditions
(though they are also designed to survive strong earthquakes), Duan
explained.

Comment
——-

¶6. (SBU) GE requested strong U.S. Government advocacy to convince
Chinese officials to look at BWR technology. Westinghouse is also
asking for advocacy. A technology-neutral approach that supports
both GE and Westinghouse could be to advocate that China adopt safer
and more advanced Gen III reactor technology at a more rapid pace
(in light of the overwhelming reliance on the obsolete CPR-1000 in

China’s construction plans (ref A)). In order to avoid incidentally
supporting the French Evolutionary Pressurized Reactor (EPR), the
only other advanced reactor in play, advocacy efforts should focus
on the advanced passive safety systems of both the ABWR and the
AP1000. Both designs rely on natural physical processes, such as
natural convection rather than pump-driven coolant flows, with no
need for external power or human interaction. The EPR, on the other
hand, relies on additional layers of active safety systems to
decrease risk of an adverse event in case one layer fails. To
increase opportunities for both GE and Westinghouse, we should also
strongly advocate that China choose reactor technology for future
sites through an open and transparent bidding process. Regardless
of how the United States decides to advocate, it must be done
continuously and from a high level if we want to keep up with the
French and Russians, because ultimately this is both a political and
economic decision. End comment.

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