This is still not the formal signing of the long-awaited Chinese mega-contract by Areva but it’s still the assurance that an agreement is only a matter of months. On the occasion of Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to China, Areva concluded, on Tuesday in Beijing, a “protocol of commercial agreement” to build a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in China, a contract for 10 to 12 billion euros for Areva. This letter of intent was signed in the presence of the French Head of State and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, which suggests that a failure is now unlikely.
Les Echos 9th Jan 2018 read more »
So close yet so far: China deal elusive for France’s Areva. A deal long sought by French company Areva to build a $12-billion nuclear waste reprocessing plant in China looks increasingly unlikely to go ahead despite a visit to Beijing by President Emmanuel Macron meant to drum up business. During Macron’s state visit this week, Areva and China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) signed a new “protocol agreement” to build the plant but, not for the first time, no definitive contract was signed. Since talks began more than a decade ago – when uranium prices UXXc1 were near record highs – a series of non-committal French-Chinese memorandums of understanding have been signed for building a reprocessing plant in China modeled on state-owned Areva’s plant in La Hague, northern France. The reprocessing of nuclear fuel waste involves separating plutonium from the spent uranium and reusing it in “Mixed Oxide” (MOX) fuel at nuclear power stations. But the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and competition from renewable energy are weighing on the nuclear sector, and uranium prices are down 80 percent from a decade ago, making the expensive and dangerous recycling process less attractive. Chinese nuclear scientist Li Ning, dean of Xiamen University’s College of Energy and a member of State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation’s (SNPTC) expert committee, sees “a fairly low probability” that China will sign a formal contract for the project.
Reuters 11th Jan 2018 read more »
France’s Framatome and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) have signed a protocol for the development of global strategic cooperation. They have also renewed a contract under which Framatome will supply nuclear fuel components to CNNC.
World Nuclear News 11th Jan 2018 read more »