Thursday, 8 February 2007

The nuclear option

While the west wrings its hands about how to produce power without offending today's religionists, China's nuclear power industry is taking off. Notes China Daily, China's nuclear energy plants to power up.
China has become the third-biggest nuclear energy producer in Asia, after Japan and South Korea, according a 2006 BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Nuclear power has become the third important method of electricity generation in China, following coal power and hydropower...

China Huaneng Group, the nation's largest power company, also launched the construction of its first nuclear power plant using high temperature gas-cooled reactors.
Notes Nuclear Engineering International, this will be just the third new-generation high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear power plant to come on stream around the world.

I love reading stuff like this, and knowing I've got shares in the company.

LINKS: China's nuclear energy plants to power up - China Daily
Very high temperature reactor - Wikipedia
China launches nuclear construction - Nuclear Engineering International
Religionists for nuclear - Not PC (April, 2005)

RELATED: Energy, Politics-World, Environment


  1. Now if only New Zealand would wake up and realise how sufficient, economical, and safe modern nuclear power techniques and equipment is. With a couple of nuclear power stations we could supply most of the nations power needs. Even just the addition of one would drastically decrease the strain out power system currently has.

    The last accident at a nuclear power station I heard of was a steam accident in Japan that had no fatalities. That can and does happen at other types of power stations. It had nothing to do with the fact that the station was nuclear.

    Also, I am interested in a new design called "the pebble bed reactor (PBR)" or "pebble bed modular reactor (PBMR)". Here is an article about it.

  2. I just looked at the article and i notice that Huaneng are one of the companies developing this new reactor type.

    I don't know about you Peter, but I will be watching this closely.

  3. I think Nuclear power is one of the great advances of the 20th century. I also think it disturbing that you hold China's embrace of Nuclear power as an example to us all.

    The West's wrangling is an expression of personal preference - we don't whole-heartedly embrace nuclear power because we don't all want to embrace nuclear power.

    Meanwhile the chosen few who rule China by decree decide what is best for that nation, and damn the wishes of the millions of people who they displace and harm with no option to even voice their dissent in the process. When a particular company is given the blessing of the Party's higher-ups, there is little that an individual (or an entire swath of the population) can do. I would think it would be the antithesis of what you stand for.

    It would appear you're ok with ditching your values for the benefit of your wallet, or am I 'missing the point' again?

  4. @ Kate: yeah, but do the economics add up for New Zealand? If you put aside all the scare-mongering it still doesn't add up. At most we'd have one or two of them: we'd never be able to get the economies of scale that places like China or Europe can muster, and we're become world beaters in wind other more interesting forms of generation. I'd like to see us push our strong points than try to jump on that band wagon.

    Now, fusion would be cool.

  5. Hi Hamish. I don't think it's so much that you've missed my point as that you've got your own point backwards.

    From 1949 until just a few years ago (in your words), the chosen few who ruled China by decree decided what is best for that nation, and damn the wishes of the millions of people who they displaced and harmed, with no option to even voice their dissent in the process.

    That was then. This is now.

    What is happening now is the rapid (though by no means complete) relaxing of that oppressive state. China's nuclear power plants are one of the exciting consequences of emerging Chinese liberty.

    Ironically, it is western environmentalists and anti-free-trade activists who would prefer China to remain backward and oppressive. Go figure.


    Re the shares - good luck to you. Scientists make crap capitalists and no mad scientist will get near my money again.

    These coys have a high cash burn while they try to bring a product to market and are high risk to your capital. Best to trade them or stay well clear as they seldom stack up on a value investment basis. Even when they do their cash burn and lack of earnings quickly changes things.

    When you're looking at a 5+ year time horizon to bring product to market, the opportunity cost has got so big that even if the product is a huge success, the company will be struggling to provide shareholders with an adequate return.

    The cold hard truth is they are dreamers wasting your money - and the only money I have ever lost on equities has been on this sort of thing. You know I'm always right too.

  7. Anonymous, we're not talking about dreamers wasting money here, we're talking about the largest power producer in China.

    If you want to burn your money, buy WDT -- there's dreamers wasting your money for you. If not, try Huaneng. :-)


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