In the News: September 1996
Russian Nukes Short of Cash
(Aug 25, 1996) – Like many parts of the Russian economy, the nuclear power industry is burdened with major customers that often do not pay their bills. According to a Reuter’s news story Rosenergoatom (the nuclear plant operating company) is close to making a decision to shut down some of the facilities.
The company, which runs nine power stations with a total of 29 reactors, is concerned that it can no longer afford make the repairs needed to ensure safety. A shut down may be the only alternative. There is a strong demand for electricity in the Russian economy, but consumers often pay unrealistically low prices when they pay their bills at all.
American Nuclear Firms Eye China
(Aug 22, 1996) – Shirley Jackson, chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, stated recently that China will be a big export market for American nuclear technology once the Chinese government has a full nuclear export control regime in place.
Under the current export rules, American firms are prevented from competing in potentially lucrative market. Some analysts have estimated that the market for nuclear imports in China might approach $50 billion over the next 30 years.
China has plans to construct at least four new plants by the year 2000 in order to meet power demands in rapidly growing coastal areas that are a long distance from its internal coal mines.
Taiwan Power Offers Big Bucks
(Aug 11, 1996) – Taiwan Power Company has offered to pay local governments and residents the equivalent of $119 US dollars if they will agree to allow the company to build a new nuclear waste storage area. About nine percent of the payment would be made after an initial site qualification screening, with the balance to be paid after the location is finalized.
The new waste storage site would have a capacity of one million barrels of nuclear waste, enough to handle the needs of Taiwan’s three existing and one planned nuclear station for more than 40 years. The decision to make the offer was made after the failure of several high profile attempts to make arrangements with overseas sites.