Current Issues: New Uranium Conversion/Enrichment and Nuclear Fuel Plant Projects - Asia
(last updated 19 Dec 2020)
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> See also:
Uranium Enrichment and Fuel Fabrication: Operating Issues (China) · Decommissioning Issues (China)
China and Belgium sign agreement on construction of pilot MOX fuel fabrication plant in China
China and Belgium have signed a framework agreement on the construction of a pilot MOX fuel fabrication plant in China.
The framework agreement defines the context for construction of a pilot plant to produce mixed oxide nuclear fuel (MOX) and for the use of MOX in Chinese nuclear reactors. A commercial agreement including technology transfer and technical assistance could soon follow, according to Belgian partners Belgonucléaire , SCK-CEN and Tractebel . The plant would be built by the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) with the support of the Belgian companies.
(World Nuclear News Oct. 7, 2010)
CANDU fuel from spent light water reactor fuel to be used at Qinshan nuclear power plant:
Canada's SNC-Lavalin is to supply its 37M Natural Uranium Equivalent (NUE) fuel to units 1 and 2 of the Qinshan Phase III nuclear power plant in China's Zhejiang province. The engineering service contract and a licensing agreement mark the first commercial use of the fuel - a mixture of depleted and recycled uranium - outside Canada.
Candu pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs) are usually fuelled with natural uranium. Since 2008, Canada and China have proven, through an in-core irradiation demonstration in the Qinshan Phase III Candu 6 reactors, that NUE fuel can be used successfully as a natural uranium substitute. The first commercial demonstration of the use of fuel containing recovered uranium from used pressurised water reactor (PWR) fuel was in Qinshan Phase III unit 1. In March 2010, 12 NUE fuel bundles were inserted into the reactor, followed by a further 24 such fuel bundles. The trial use of the fuel ran for one year.
In August 2012, SNC-Lavalin subsidiary Candu Energy, the TQNPC, China North Nuclear Fuel Corporation and the Nuclear Power Institute of China agreed to expand their joint project to demonstrate the use of NUE fuel at the Qinshan plant.
SNC-Lavalin says that only a few changes are required to current operating Candu reactor designs, safety parameters and licensing case to use NUE as a substitute for natural uranium.
(World Nuclear News Aug. 8, 2018)
AECL, China conclude agreement on development of CANDU fuel from spent light water reactor fuel:
On Nov. 3, 2008, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) formalized an advanced nuclear fuel development agreement with China's Third Qinshan Nuclear Power Co. (TQNPC), China North Nuclear Fuel Corporation and Nuclear Power Institute of China.
The agreement is to jointly develop the technology for the use of uranium
recovered from the spent fuel of light water reactors in China, and to be used
in the CANDU reactors in China, located southwest of Shanghai. The planned
development program will involve scientists and engineers from Canada and
China but would not be implemented in Canada.
Russia to set up another gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant in China
China is building a gas centrifuge enrichment plant successfully by using Russia's technology, head of the Rosatom Nuclear Energy State Corporation, the regulatory body of the Russian nuclear complex, said.
China is planning to put the plant into operation in 2012, Sergei Kiriyenko said.
(Zee News Aug. 31, 2010)
On May 23, 2008, Chinese and Russian officials signed a $1 billion deal to have Moscow build a nuclear fuel enrichment plant in China and supply uranium.
The deal calls for Russia to build a $500 million nuclear fuel enrichment plant and supply semi-enriched uranium worth at least $500 million.
(AP May 23, 2008)
Russia signed an agreement with China to set up another gas centrifuge enrichment facility in China with an annual capacity of 500,000 separative work units (SWU), a Tenex spokesman said.
Under a 1992 deal, Russia helped China set up two centrifuge facilities with an annual capacity of 200,000 and 300,000 SWU respectively in Hanzhong, a city about 900 km southwest of Beijing. (Gulf Times Nov. 7, 2007)
Jiangmen uranium processing plant project canceled after protest
The municipal government in Jiangmen, Guangdong announced on Saturday (July 13) that it would drop a controversial plan to build a uranium processing project in the city. But local residents worried it was just city official's delay tactic to stop them from staging more protests.
(South China Morning Post July 13, 2013)
Jiangmen handed over an official document reaffirming the city's plans to scrap a proposed uranium processing plant yesterday after residents refused to believe that the project was dead.
The formal red-letter statement was released after more than 2,000 protesters marched on the municipal government headquarters - the third such rally in as many days - to secure written assurances that Jiangmen officials would stick by their promise on Saturday to withdraw the project.
(South China Morning Post July 15, 2013)
Jiangmen residents protest against proposed uranium processing plant, extension of comment period conceded
More than 1,000 people have marched to the municipal government office in Jiangmen to protest against a plan to build a uranium processing plant in Guangdong City. The protesters say they're concerned about radiation and possible nuclear pollution. They're also unhappy with the government's 10-day consultation process, which ends tomorrow, RTHK reports. Jiangmen authorities have already signed an agreement with the China National Nuclear Corporation to house the 40-billion-yuan project. Construction is expected to begin at the end of this year.
(The Standard July 12, 2013)
Heshan mayor Wu Yuxiong said that the local government has decided to extend the period in which the risk assessment report is publicly accessible by a further ten days.
(South China Morning Post July 12, 2013)
Concern over sketchy nature of details and possible radiation risks from proposed uranium processing plant in Guangdong
Nuclear experts and green activists have called for more information from the Guangdong government after limited details were released about its proposal for a uranium processing plant in Jiangmen, about 100 kilometres from Hong Kong.
An announcement by the Jiangmen City Development and Reform Bureau said the 230-hectare plant would carry out uranium conversion, enrichment and fuel fabrication.
But the three-page statement, issued last Thursday (July 4), did not make it clear whether the plant, in the Longwan industrial district of Zhishanzhen, would perform spent fuel reprocessing - recycling of old fuel rods that could emit high doses of radiation - or what measures would be used to avoid radiation leaks.
(South China Morning Post July 10, 2013)
Nuclear fuel complex to be built in Heshan, Guangdong province, comprising uranium conversion, enrichment, and nuclear fuel fabrication
In May 2013 CGN and CNNC announced that the CNY 45 billion ($7.33 billion) Heshan Nuclear Power Industry Park is to be set up by China Nuclear Fuel Element Co (CNFEC) at Daying (or Longwan) Industrial Park at Zishan town in Heshan and Jiangmen city, Guangdong province. It is a joint venture of CGN and CNNC . It will be established during the 12th 5-year plan and be fully operational by 2020. It involves 1000 tU/yr fuel fabrication as well as a conversion plant (14,000 t/yr) and an enrichment plant, close to CGN’s Taishan power plant.
(WNA June 2013)
Hanau MOX fuel plant equipment to be used for manufacture of fast breeder fuel
China is planning to use the equipment from the never operated Siemens Hanau MOX fuel production plant for a planned MOX fuel plant at Lanzhou. The German government has made no decision yet on an export license for the equipment, however.
The MOX fuel is to be used in fast breeder reactors to be built. A 65 MW fast breeder research reactor is currently under construction at Fangshan near Beijing and shall be operable from 2007. The plutonium required for the MOX fuel is to be recovered from the spent fuel of China's eight conventional reactors, though a commercial reprocessing plant not yet exists. The excess plutonium to be breeded in the fast breeder reactor would be highly weapons grade. (Frankfurter Rundschau March 13/16, 2004)
> See also:
Uranium Enrichment and Fuel Fabrication: Operating Issues (India) · Decommissioning Issues (India)
TVEL completes contract for supply of BWR fuel pellets to India
Fuel division of Russia's Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, TVEL has shipped to India the final consignment of uranium fuel pellets for BWR reactors and fulfilled the relevant contract with the Department of Atomic Energy. According to a press release, the total volume of the supplied fuel pellets exceeded 50 tons.
The fuel pellets made of low-enriched uranium dioxide were produced at Elemash, a fabrication facility of TVEL Fuel Company in Elektrostal, Moscow. In India, the pellets will be used for fabrication of nuclear fuel assemblies for the Tarapur Nuclear Power Plant at the National Fuel Complex in Hyderabad, the release added.
(News Today Dec. 5, 2019)
Russia and India establishing cooperation in uranium enrichment
Russia is working on localizing of manufacturing of components for nuclear power plants in India, cooperation on uranium enrichment is being established, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Sputnik and the IANS news agency.
(Sputnik Oct. 13, 2016)
India searches for site for another nuclear fuel fabrication plant
Sites in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are on the radar for setting up a third nuclear fuel fabrication facility to meet requirements of nuclear power reactors, even as the Ministry of Environment and Forests' approval for the second unit at Kota, Rajasthan is awaited.
The site selection committee of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) visited Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh and few other places in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to find a suitable site for what will be the biggest nuclear fuel fabrication facility, with an envisaged production of 1,250 tonnes a year.
(The Hindu May 14, 2013)
India and Russia consider plan for nuclear fuel plant in India
India and Russia are considering the setting up of a joint venture to produce nuclear fuel in India, Russia's nuclear chief said.
"A project to build a factory in India for the production of nuclear fuel is under consideration," Russia's state nuclear corporation Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko said in the wake of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to India.
The possibility of setting up a nuclear fuel facility in India is envisaged in the Inter-Government Agreement on Cooperation in the use of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purpose, signed on Friday (Mar. 12) in New Delhi.
(The Hindu Mar. 14, 2010)
India and Russia sign civil nuclear agreement, ensuring nuclear fuel supply
India and Russia have sealed a breakthrough long-term pact for expanding civil nuclear cooperation that is free from any restrictions on India and guarantees it against any curbs in the future.
Under the agreement signed on Monday (Dec. 7), Russia will set up more nuclear reactors in India, transfer the full range of nuclear energy technologies and ensure uninterrupted supply of fuel.
(The Hindu Dec. 8, 2009)
Russia delivers first batch of heavy water reactor fuel to India
Russia's TVEL, a subsidiary of state-controlled nuclear power company Atomenergoprom, has delivered its first shipment of nuclear fuel for Indian heavy-water reactors, Atomenergoprom said.
"Thirty metric tons of pellets were delivered to the nuclear fuel complex in Hyderabad for further conversion into fuel for the Rajasthan nuclear power plant," the company said.
In line with a $700 million contract signed February 11, 2009, with New Delhi on fuel supplies to Indian nuclear power plants, Russia is to supply India with 2,000 metric tons of uranium pellets.
(RIA Novosti April 10, 2009)
The first consignment of 40 cylinders of enriched uranium from Russia has arrived at the Koodankulam atomic power station in Tamil Nadu on May 28, 2008, station project director K C Purohit told reporters.
He said another batch of 163 cylinders would arrive from Russia in the coming months.
The enriched uranium fuel is in the form of final fuel assembly and it will be loaded into a reactor by October 2008, he said.
He said works on two Russian reactors called VVER-1000 were progressing and it was likely to be commissioned by January 2009.
(PTI May 30, 2008)
Villagers block land allocated for construction of uranium enrichment plant
Thousands of sheep, cattle and hundreds of villagers of Dodda Ullarthy, Challakere and Chitradurga on Tuesday (Nov. 25) occupied Amrit Mahal Kaval land and claimed their rights over it.
They are opposing the setting up of a Uranium enrichment facility by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC, Mumbai) there. Villagers marched from Dodda Ullarthy towards the Kaval, broke through the fences built around the grassland ecosystems, pushing aside the police and tahsildar.
The officials relented when it was pointed out that villagers were acting in compliance with directions of the Green Tribunal that barred BARC from initiating any work unless it gets environmental clearance. Tahsildar S S Pandith said the issue would be discussed at a higher level.
(Indian Express Nov. 26, 2014)
India starts building large unsafeguarded centrifuge uranium enrichment plant in Chitradurga District (Karnataka), report
According to Washington D.C.-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), India is in the early stages of building a large uranium enrichment centrifuge complex, the Special Material Enrichment Facility (SMEF), in Karnataka.
Using commercial satellite imagery, ISIS identified two sites situated in Challakere Taluk within the Chitradurga District in Karnataka: near the village of Khudapura, and near the village of Ullarthi Kaval. The latter seems to be the main location of the new uranium enrichment facility.
In 2011, India announced publicly its intention to build this industrial-scale centrifuge complex in Challakere Taluk, Chitradurga District (Karnataka). India's top nuclear official said in 2011 that the Special Material Enrichment Facility will not be safeguarded and will have multiple roles, both civilian and military.
> View India's New Uranium Enrichment Plant in Karnataka , by David Albright and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini, ISIS Reports, July 1, 2014
Foundation stone laid for Rawatbhata nuclear fuel plant:
The Rs 18 billion [US$ 281 million] Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Facility (NFFFF) and Zirconium Fabrication Facility (ZFF) proposed to come up at Rawatbhata, 65 km from Kota in Chittorgarh district, will cater to needs of the upcoming 10 units of 700 MW atomic power plant in the country. It is likely to be completed by 2022.
The foundation stone of the nuclear fuel complex at Rawatbhata was laid by the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission Dr. Shekhar Basu on Saturday (Sep. 9). This project was cleared in 2014 by the Union Cabinet but got delayed by almost two years due to environmental clearance.
(DNA Sep. 11, 2017)
The Rs 24 billion [US$ 385 million] plant with a capacity of 500 tonnes per annum being established in Kota, Rajasthan, though delayed will be ready in the next couple of years to meet future needs, said N Saibaba, Chief Executive of the Hyderabad-headquartered Nuclear Fuel Complex under the Department of Atomic Energy.
(The Hindu April 8, 2015)
A massive increase in indigenous fuel production is on the cards to meet the country's ambitious nuclear energy programme, with the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) firming up plans to establish a Rs. 10 billion [US$ 216 million] plant in Rajasthan and proposing to set up joint ventures for fuel fabrication with American, Russian and French companies.
NFC chief executive R.N. Jayaraj said the pre-project activities were in full swing for establishing a 500-tonne NFC plant at Rawatbhata, near Kota.
(The Hindu Oct. 13, 2009)
> See also:
Uranium Enrichment and Fuel Fabrication: Operating Issues (Iran) · Decommissioning Issues (Iran)
Iran is developing secret uranium-enrichment site, dissident group claims
Iran is developing a secret uranium enrichment site near Qazvin, 120 miles west of Tehran, a dissident group said today (Sep. 9), citing satellite images of the area.
The facility is called Behjatad-Abyek and is code-named 311, according to the Iran Policy Committee, which supports the anti-regime People's Mujahedeen of Iran.
"This is certainly part of the secret weapons program," said Alireza Jafarzadeh, who presented the photos at a Washington press conference. "It's just moved underground, in tunnels, hidden from the outside world."
The Iranian government has spent $100 million on the mountainous site, where the photos, taken as far back as 2008 and as recently as last month, show excavation and tunneling, the group said.
Jafarzadeh said intelligence information the group obtained indicates the facility could accommodate thousands of enrichment centrifuges, and construction at the site will be finished this year.
(Bloomberg Sep. 9, 2010)
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Isfahan nuclear fuel plant completed:
Tehran is capable of making its own nuclear fuel plates and rods, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said on Saturday (Jan. 8), according to Fars News Agency.
"We have built an advanced manufacturing unit at Isfahan for the fuel plates," Ali-Akbar Salehi said.
"A grand transformation has taken place in the production of [nuclear] plates and rods. With the completion of the unit in Isfahan, we are one of the few countries which can produce fuel rods and fuel plates."
(RIA Novosti Jan. 8, 2011)
On Apr. 9, 2009, Iran inaugurated a new nuclear fuel plant at Isfahan. The plant is to produce uranium oxide fuel for a planned heavy water reactor. The reactor is to start operation in 2010, at the latest.
(APA Apr. 9, 2009)
Some information on the project was given by Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Vice President for Nuclear Fuel Production M. Ghannadi-Maragheh at the WNA Annual Symposium 3-5 September 2003 in London:
The projected annual production capacity of the Fuel Manufacturing Plant (FMP) is 30-35 metric tonnes in the preliminary phase, extendable to 120 tonnes of fuel production for nuclear power plants and 20 tonnes for research reactors.
A plant to produce fuel casings for uranium is close to completion in Isfahan in central Iran, according to Gholamreza Aqazadeh, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation. (Reuters Feb. 12, 2003)
> See also:
Uranium Enrichment and Fuel Fabrication: Operating Issues (Japan) · Decommissioning Issues (Japan)
Atomenergoprom and Toshiba consider construction of enrichment plant in Japan
Russia's Atomenergoprom and Japan's Toshiba Corporation are considering the joint construction in either Japan or another country of a uranium enrichment plant based on Russia's highly effective gas centrifuge technology, according to Atomenergoprom's press office.
(RBC Mar 19, 2009)
Japan shelves laser uranium enrichment method
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
has decided to shelve its research and development on laser uranium
enrichment technology used to produce fuel for nuclear power,
ministry officials said on Oct. 2, 2001. The decision reflects questions about the technology's applicability and economic feasibility. Since the late 1980s, the government has spent more than 50 billion yen and the power industry over 15 billion yen on developing laser
uranium enrichment technology.
The ministry will turn its focus to enhancing the efficiency of the
existing centrifugation technology. The uranium enrichment factory of Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. in Rokkasho village, Aomori Prefecture -- scheduled to be expanded in 2010 with laser uranium enrichment technology -- plans to use an improved centrifugation method.
(Kyodo Oct 2, 2001)
Completion of Rokkasho-mura MOX fuel fabrication plant to be delayed by another two years until 2024
On December 9, 2020, Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited (JNFL) received the permission from the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) for the amendment of business permit for the MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant (MOX Plant) to comply with the new regulatory requirements. By this permission, the strengthened safety measures to comply with the requirements were established for MOX plant and construction works schedule required in the future was examined and considered. Consequently, JNFL decided to change the completion date of MOX Plant from the first half of the Japanese Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 to the first half of FY 2024. (JNFL Dec. 16, 2020)
JNFL Rokkasho-mura MOX fuel fabrication plant project passes regulator's safety checks, while plan for MOX fuel usage still lacking
A plant under construction in northeastern Japan to produce plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel, a major component of the country's stalled nuclear fuel recycling process, formally passed safety checks by regulators on Wednesday (Dec. 9).
The Nuclear Regulation Authority [NRA] gave its approval despite the lack of a concrete plan for the usage of MOX fuel going forward due to the slow resumption of nuclear power generation in Japan following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.
Japan Nuclear Fuel applied for safety checks with the NRA for the MOX fuel fabrication plant in January 2014 under stricter regulations imposed following the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March 2011.
Japan Nuclear Fuel had initially planned to complete the Rokkasho plant in 2012 but the target year was postponed repeatedly due to work suspensions following the Fukushima crisis.
The plant also needs to pass further checks on its construction plans before it can start operations, clouding the outlook for the facility to be completed by the first half of the fiscal year starting April 2022 as sought by the operator.
The costs to construct the plant have ballooned from the initial 120 billion yen ($1.15 billion) to 390 billion yen [US$ 3.75 billion]. Total expenses, including outlays to run the plant, are expected to reach 2.34 trillion yen [US$ 22.5 billion].
(Kyodo Dec. 9, 2020)
Completion of Rokkasho-mura MOX fuel fabrication plant to be delayed by another three years until 2022
On Dec. 22, 2017, Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd (JNFL) announced that the timing of the completion of the MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant has been changed from the first half of Japanese Fiscal Year 2019 to the first half of Japanese Fiscal Year 2022 [that is April - September 2022].
Completion of Rokkasho-mura MOX fuel fabrication plant to be delayed until 2019
On Nov. 16, 2015, Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd (JNFL) announced that the timing of the completion of the MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant has been changed from October 2017 to the first half of Japanese Fiscal Year 2019 [that is April - September 2019].
Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd and Areva sign joint statement on cooperation in the area of nuclear fuel recycling
"Today, President Kawai and Mr. Luc Oursel, CEO of AREVA signed the 'Joint Statement on the Future of Nuclear Fuel Recycling'.
JNFL and AREVA have been cooperating in the nuclear fuel cycle field for a long time as partners, and reconfirmed that it is quite worthwhile to strengthen our partnership to contribute to nuclear industry in Japan continuously trough the statement."
(JNFL June 7, 2013)
Among others, AREVA will support JNFL in constructing and commissioning JNFL's MOX
fuel fabrication plant.
> Download: Joint Statement on the Future of Nuclear Fuel Recycling , June 7, 2013 (PDF - JNFL)
Completion of Rokkasho-mura MOX fuel fabrication plant expected to be delayed beyond 2016
Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. showed reporters Thursday (Nov. 1) its MOX nuclear fuel plant being built in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture.
Work began in October 2010 but was halted for about a year after the March 2011 disasters. Work resumed in April, but the facility is only about 3 percent done. Completion is expected to be delayed beyond the target date of March 2016.
Last month, the company completed drilling work to enhance the foundation's earthquake resistance and it is now checking the firmness of bedrock located about 24 meters underground. It will start building a structure on it once the bedrock passes a strength test, company officials said.
(Japan Times Nov. 2, 2012)
JNFL resumes construction of Rokkasho-mura MOX fuel fabrication plant
Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. on Tuesday (Apr. 3) restarted the construction of a plant to produce plutonium-uranium mixed oxide nuclear fuel known as MOX in Rokkasho village, Aomori Prefecture.
The plant, which Japan Nuclear Fuel originally started building in October 2010, will be the nation's first MOX plant to be operated on a commercial basis.
The company had suspended construction due to harsh winter conditions in Aomori and the northeastern region was then rocked by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
President Yoshihiko Kawai earlier indicated that the plant's completion, originally planned for March 2016, may be delayed due to the earthquake-induced suspension.
(Mainichi Apr. 4, 2012)
Construction of JNFL Rokkasho MOX fuel plant starts (Japan)
Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. started Thursday (Oct. 28) in Aomori Prefecture the construction of what is set to become Japan's first commercial plant to produce plutonium-uranium mixed oxide, or MOX, fuel.
The plant, scheduled to be completed in March 2016 at a cost of around 190 billion yen [US$ 2.33 billion] in the village of Rokkasho in the northeastern Japan prefecture, is expected to serve as a key facility in establishing the infrastructure for recycling spent nuclear fuel.
It will be able to produce up to 130 tons of MOX fuel a year by changing powdered MOX, extracted from spent nuclear fuel at an adjacent reprocessing plant, into fuel pellets.
The launch comes after the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry authorized the plant's construction plan Friday (Oct. 22).
The project itself was approved by the ministry in May following a longer-than-expected process of assessing its quake-resistance strength since 2005.
(Mainichi Oct. 28, 2010)
Start of JNFL Rokkasho-mura MOX fuel fabrication plant construction delayed until October 2010
Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. filed a plan with the government on Friday (May 21) that will delay by five months until October 2010 the start of constructing in Aomori Prefecture a plant designed to produce plutonium-uranium mixed oxide, or MOX fuel.
(Kyodo May 21, 2010)
JNFL Rokkasho-mura MOX fuel fabrication plant project passes government's safety scrutiny
The Atomic Energy Commission endorsed plans by Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. to build a plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel plant from May.
Given the green light, the economy, trade and industry minister will license its operation aimed for launch in 2015 in the near future, ministry officials said.
(Kyodo Apr. 20, 2010)
JNFL postpones start of construction of Rokkasho-mura MOX fuel plant
Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd (JNFL) has announced a postponement to the start of construction of its mixed oxide (MOX) fuel plant.
The company has requested that Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti) revise its original application for the construction of its MOX fuel plant to allow for a further six months before the start of its construction.
Construction of the J-MOX fabrication facility at Rokkasho had originally been scheduled to begin in 2007, but has been delayed by reviews of seismic criteria. In April, JNFL said that it planned to start work last month, with an expected start-up date of June 2015 for the plant, revising the date of 2012 specified in an earlier construction application.
However, JNFL has now informed Meti that it plans to start construction of the plant in May 2010. The target date for the facility's completion remains the same.
(WNN Dec. 14, 2009)
JNFL produces first mixed oxides for MOX fuel
On Nov. 2, 2006, Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd (JNFL) announced it has produced first uranium-plutonium mixed oxides in its Rokkasho reprocessing plant in Aomori Prefecture. The mixed oxides will be further processed into MOX fuel.
CNIC protests Aomori Gov's signing of agreement on construction of Rokkasho-mura MOX plant
Citizens' Nuclear Information Center protests Aomori Prefecture's decision to sign the basic cooperative site agreement for a MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant and demands that it rescind the agreement. The agreement has been signed between Aomori Prefecture, Rokkasho Village, Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd (JNFL) and the Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPCO). (CNIC Apr. 19, 2005)
Aomori government approves Rokkashomura MOX plant
On April 14, 2005, Aomori Gov. Shingo Mimura accepted Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd.'s request to build a plant to process plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel in the village of Rokkasho.
Mimura said Aomori Prefecture and Rokkasho will each receive 980 million
yen [US$ 9 million] per year in central government subsidies for two years beginning fiscal 2006 in return for hosting the facility. The subsidies are in
line with electricity provision laws.
The MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant will be built within the grounds of the existing Rokkasho nuclear spent-fuel reprocessing plant at an estimated construction cost of 120 billion yen [US$ 1.1 billion]. The two plants will be connected underground for the delivery of plutonium and uranium.
(Japan Times 15 Apr 2005)
Aomori government to approve Rokkashomura MOX plant
Aomori Gov. Shingo Mimura will approve a request from Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. to construct the nation's first commercial plant to process mixed uranium and plutonium oxide (MOX) nuclear fuel in Rokkashomura in the prefecture, sources said.
The governor is expected to sign the basic agreement by the end of April 2005.
At the plant, MOX will be reprocessed to be used in plutonium-thermal nuclear power generation. MOX will be extracted from spent nuclear fuel at a reprocessing plant currently under construction in the village.
About 130 tons of MOX are expected to be produced annually at the new plant.
It will cost about 120 billion yen [US$ 1.1 billion] to construct the MOX facility, which will be built next to the nuclear fuel reprocessing plant.
(Yomiuri Shimbun Apr. 7, 2005)
Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. seeks licence to build MOX fuel plant at Rokkasho-mura
Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. (JNFL) is seeking a license to build a plutonium fuel fabrication plant at Rokkashomura, the utility-owned company said. Construction work on the plant would begin in 2004 and be completed in 2009, assuming both the Aomori Prefecture and Rokkashomura approve the project. (Platts Aug. 27, 2001)
Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited to build MOX fuel plant at Rokkasho-mura
On Nov. 10, 2000, Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited (JNFL) announced the project to construct a MOX fuel fabrication plant adjacent to JNFL's Rokkasho-mura reprocessing plant (currently under construction). The fuel plant will have a maximum capacity of 130 tonnes of MOX fuel per year. Construction costs are estimated at 120 billion Yen (about US$ 1.1 billion).
> See also:
Uranium Enrichment and Fuel Fabrication: Operating Issues (Kazakhstan) · Decommissioning Issues (Kazakhstan)
Kazakhstan and United Arab Emirates plan nuclear cooperation, including uranium supply
> View here
Kazatomprom and Rosatom consider Ulba combine as possible site for uranium enrichment plant
The national atomic company of Kazakhstan Kazatomprom and Russian state corporation Rosatom examine the Ulba combine, which is located in East Kazakhstan as a possible site for uranium enrichment, reported Kazatomprom's Vice President Nurlan Ryspanov.
(Kazakhstan today June 4, 2010)
Kazakhstan to export enriched uranium
Kazakhstan intends to be more actively engaged in export of the enriched uranium. The report of the USA National Coordination Office for Information Technology Research and Development of the US Bureau of Investigation informs, Kazakhstan Today agency reports citing information portal NEWSru.
According to NEWSru, the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, informed of the plans to export uranium and to sell a more expensive fuel to the neighboring countries, not ore.
"Now, Russia helps Kazakhstan to enrich its uranium. However, Astana may soon decide to buy uranium enrichment technologies. Kazakhstan will likely to establish cooperation with Iran, which has been involved in uranium for a long time."
(Kazakhstan Today 19 Oct 2009)
Kazakhstan to sell nuclear fuel to China, Japan, and Europe by 2013
Kazatomprom will start selling nuclear fuel to China by 2013. Kazakh-made nuclear fuel will also be exported to Japan, Europe, and possibly the U.S., according to Kazatomprom head Mukhtar Dzhakishev.
(Bloomberg May 31, 2007)
Cameco and Kazatomprom have not decided yet on uranium refinery plant project in Kazakhstan
Cameco and Kazatomprom have completed a feasibility study to evaluate the design, construction and operation of a uranium refinery in Kazakhstan with the capacity to produce 6,000 tU annually as uranium trioxide (UO3). A formal joint decision has not yet been made as to whether the refinery will be built.
(Cameco Dec. 11, 2017)
Cameco and Kazatomprom study uranium refinery plant project in Kazakhstan
On May 27, 2016, Cameco and Kazatomprom announced that they will complete a feasibility study for the purpose of evaluating the design, construction and operation of a uranium refinery in Kazakhstan with the capacity to produce 6,000 tU annually as uranium trioxide (UO3). The agreement includes provisions that would make Cameco's proprietary uranium refining technology available to Kazatomprom on a royalty-free basis, and grants Kazatomprom a five-year option to license Cameco's proprietary uranium conversion technology for purposes of constructing and operating a UF6 conversion facility in Kazakhstan.
If Cameco and Kazatomprom decide to build the refinery, the agreement also provides that
Cameco's and Kazatomprom's respective ownership interests in the limited liability partnership that will own the refinery, will be 71.67% for Kazatomprom and 28.33% for Cameco.
Kazakhstan and Canada sign nuclear cooperation agreement in preparation of uranium conversion joint venture
The document was signed in Astana yesterday (Nov. 13) following talks between Kazakhstan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev and Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, the press office of the ministry said in a statement.
"[...] In particular, the agreement opens the way for uranium enrichment and further conversion of uranium ore at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant for the production of fuel for nuclear power plants," the press office said.
Kazakhstan and Canada plan to invest $200 million into a uranium conversion facility, Tengrinews.kz reported citing Vladimir Shkolnik, chairman of Kazakhstan's national atomic company Kazatomprom.
The production capacity of the new facility will be 6,000 tons of uranium a year, Shkolnik said.
(Times of Central Asia Nov. 14, 2013)
Cameco and Kazatomprom eye uranium conversion plant in Kazakhstan
Canada's Cameco Corp. and Kazakhstan's Kazatomprom aim to launch a uranium-conversion plant in the Central Asian state in 2016-2017, Cameco's Chief Operating Officer Bob Steane said Friday (June 4).
Cameco and Kazatomprom plan to have a feasibility study done for the facility "in the next couple of years," Steane said, adding "conversion only makes sense when you get 12,000 or more [metric] tons capacity," referring to the size of the proposed plant.
(Dow Jones June 4, 2010)
Canada and Kazakhstan agree nuclear cooperation
Canada and Kazakhstan have concluded negotiations on the text of a nuclear cooperation agreement, ministers from the two countries have announced.
Jerry Grandey, CEO of Canadian uranium producer Cameco, welcomed the agreement, saying it would allow his company to expand its role and presence in Kazakhstan "and develop partnerships that will allow Cameco and Kazatomprom to work together on opportunities to convert uranium."
(WNN 25 September 2009)
Cameco and Kazatomprom establish entity for Ulba conversion plant project
Cameco Corporation and Kazatomprom are pleased to announce today that they are establishing a new legal entity, Ulba Conversion LLP, to further advance the development work of a 12,000 tonne, UF6 conversion facility at the Ulba Metallurgical plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan. Ownership of Ulba Conversion will be Kazatomprom 51% and Cameco 49%.
Cameco and Kazatomprom have agreed to begin the first stage of the feasibility study to evaluate a conversion plant based on the results of a detailed scoping study. This first stage will be funded by the two companies based on their participating interest and is expected to be completed in the next year. Cameco will provide the technology for the conversion plant and potentially hold an interest of up to 49%.
(Cameco June 3, 2008)
Cameco and Kazatomprom to cooperate on uranium conversion plant project in Kazakhstan
On May 28, 2007, Cameco Corporation announced it has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with National Atomic Company Kazatomprom to co-operate on the development of uranium conversion capacity.
Under the terms of the MOU, Cameco will work with Kazatomprom to study the feasibility of constructing a uranium conversion facility in Kazakhstan and elsewhere. Cameco would provide the technology and potentially hold an interest of up to 49%, at the company's discretion.
Construction of Kazakh-Chinese joint venture FA nuclear fuel fabrication plant has started
National Atomic Company Kazatomprom and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) have proceeded to implementation of a joint innovative project in the nuclear sector. This has become known during the teleconference with participation of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Construction of this FA Manufacturing Plant is one of the breakthrough projects to be implemented under Kazatomprom's strategy which focuses on development of a vertically integrated fuel cycle company with advanced nuclear fuel fabrication capabilities.
The plant will be managed through a joint venture "Ulba-FA", the founders of which are Ulba Metallurgical Plant JSC (51%) (Kazatomprom's subsidiary) and CGN-URC (49%) (subsidiary of CGNPC).
FA production technology will be provided by the French company AREVA, the world's leader in this segment. The relevant Contract was signed between AREVA NP and Ulba-FA LLP. The Agreement provides a license for fuel fabrication technology, engineering documentation, supply of the key production equipment, personnel training and others.
It should be noted that this project will allow to establish a modern, completely automated production with the capacity of 200 tonnes of fuel assemblies per year, which will be further used in NPPs as nuclear fuel.
Investments would comprise over KZT 49 billion [US$ 144 million], half of which is to be provided by the Chinese side. This project will also create 129 direct new jobs and create additional economic benefit through support goods and services in Kazakhstan.
Initial FA production is scheduled for 2020.
(Kazatomprom Dec. 6, 2016)
China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) signs agreement with Kazatomprom on nuclear fuel assembly plant joint venture in Kazakhstan
China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) announced that it signed an agreement Monday (Dec. 14) with Kazakhstan's Kazatomprom to jointly build a nuclear fuel assembly plant and mine uranium deposits in the central Asian country.
The largest nuclear power supplier in China said the main business terms, and construction and development schedules had been agreed upon with the Kazakh company.
CGN gave no further details on either project.
Cooperation between the two firms on uranium development and trade and nuclear fuel fabrication was initiated in 2006.
The two have a uranium mining joint venture, and CGN also imports nuclear fuel pellets and uranium from Kazatomprom.
(China Daily Dec. 15, 2015)
During an official visit by Kazakh prime minister Karim Massimov to China, commercial terms agreements were signed between KazAtomProm and China General Nuclear (CGN) for the fuel assembly plant and development of uranium projects.
Under the agreement for setting up a fuel assembly production plant, a facility based on the existing Ulba Metallurgical Plant is to be built with a capacity for 200 tonnes per year. It will supply fuel to Chinese nuclear power reactors, KazAtomProm said in a statement.
(WNN July 18, 2016)
Kazakhstan and China discuss joint fuel assembly production
Kazakhstan and China are in talks to establish the joint fabrication of fuel assemblies for nuclear power plants, Nurlan Kapparov, president of Kazatomprom, said today.
Kapparov revealed the plan during his working visit to the Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMZ), the proposed site of an International Atomic Energy Agency-administered low-enriched uranium bank. The company's head "attached the greatest importance" to the prospect of developing the plant to help Kazakhstan attain the full nuclear fuel cycle.
(World Nuclear News Dec. 8, 2014)
> View more recent issues
International nuclear fuel bank could lure countries into nuclear energy - Beyond Nuclear
Banking on uranium makes the world less safe
The just opened low-enriched uranium "bank" in Kazakhstan has been heralded as a major step forward in non-proliferation. But what is its real agenda?
In principle, the uranium bank will provide an uninterrupted flow of low-enriched uranium -- the fuel for civilian reactors -- to nuclear power countries, while saving those considering nuclear energy programs the cost of building their own enrichment facilities.
It's positioned as a proliferation solution because it would avoid more problems like Iran, which claimed to be enriching its uranium for a civilian program but could have gone on to make highly enriched uranium for atomic bombs.
The problem is that the IAEA, which operates the bank, has a remit "to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy." The agency claims "dozens of countries" want nuclear energy (more aspiration than reality). Its "bank" conveniently provides a financial incentive. All of this is enshrined in the deeply problematic Article IV of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Yet for developing countries that lack major infrastructure and widespread electrical grid penetration, renewable energy is a far cheaper, safer and more efficient choice than nuclear.
Instead, the "bank" could lure countries, many of which are struggling with poverty and climate change, into the nuclear energy money pit.
That leaves them with the risk of a catastrophic nuclear accident, the financial burden of building nuclear power plants in the first place, and of course an unsolved radioactive waste problem.
This is clearly not the safer option. (Beyond Nuclear Sep. 11, 2017)
> See also: Banking on Uranium Makes the World Less Safe , by Linda Pentz Gunter, Counterpunch, Sep. 8, 2017
IAEA low-enriched uranium fuel bank in Kazakhstan inaugurated
An inauguration ceremony was held in Astana on Aug. 29, 2017. LEU storage is expected to start in 2018.
(IAEA Aug. 29, 2017)
IAEA and Kazakhstan sign agreement to establish low-enriched uranium fuel bank
The IAEA and Kazakhstan today (Aug. 27) signed an agreement to set up the IAEA Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank in Oskemen, Kazakhstan. The IAEA LEU Bank, operated by Kazakhstan, will be a physical reserve of LEU available for eligible IAEA Member States. It will host a reserve of LEU, the basic ingredient of nuclear fuel, and act as a supplier of last resort for Member States in case they cannot obtain LEU on the global commercial market or otherwise. It will not disrupt the commercial market.
The Host State Agreement, a related technical agreement signed by Mr Amano and Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik, and a contract between the IAEA and Kazakhstan's Ulba Metallurgical Plant comprise the legal framework for the IAEA LEU Bank.
The IAEA LEU Bank will be a physical reserve of up to 90 metric tons of LEU, sufficient to run a 1,000 MWe light-water reactor. The IAEA LEU Bank will be located at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Oskemen in north-eastern Kazakhstan.
Safety and security of the IAEA LEU Bank will be governed by Kazakhstan's legal and regulatory requirements, and will meet the applicable provisions of the IAEA’s safety standards and security guidance documents. The LEU will also be subject to IAEA safeguards.
The establishment and operation of the IAEA LEU Bank is fully funded through US $150 million of voluntary contributions from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the United States, the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Norway and Kazakhstan.
(IAEA Aug. 27, 2015)
Kazakhstan signs draft agreement with IAEA on proposed low-enriched uranium fuel bank
The government of Kazakhstan has approved a draft agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on establishing a low-enriched uranium (LEU) 'fuel bank' in Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan put itself forward to host an international LEU depositary on its territory under the auspices of the IAEA in 2010. According to international norms, such a 'fuel bank' must be located in a country with no nuclear weapons and be fully open to IAEA inspectors. The 'fuel bank' will be an LEU reserve for the production of fuel assemblies for nuclear power plants. Any state wishing to develop nuclear energy will be able to apply to Kazakhstan for the uranium fuel needed for their nuclear power plants.
The Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMP) was proposed in 2012 as the site of the 'fuel bank', but in February 2013 it was reported that due to seismic considerations and local opposition it would not be sited there after all. However, negotiations with the IAEA concluded in February 2014 were apparently still focused on the Ulba site at Ust-Kamenogorsk in eastern Kazakhstan. This is separate from Russia's similar concept under IAEA auspices.
LEU IAEA is defined as LEU owned by the IAEA in the form of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) with a nominal enrichment of U-235 to 4.95%. LEU IAEA Bank means a physical reserve of IAEA LEU stored as a maximum volume of up to 60 full containers of the 30B type or later versions.
(WNN May 14, 2015)
[Given the 30B cylinder net capacity of 2,277 kg UF6, 60 cylinders contain 136.6 tonnes of enriched UF6, corresponding to 92.4 t U.]
Residents question benefit from planned Ulba international nuclear fuel bank project
Kazakhstan plans to build an international nuclear fuel bank in Ust-Kamenogorsk (Oskemen), in the country's east, at the site of Ulba Metallurgic Plant, part of the giant national company Kazatomprom, which produces fuel tablets for nuclear power plants.
While the authorities are keen on the plan, some citizens are seriously questioning it - questions that are likely to remain largely unanswered.
The nuclear fuel bank will store low-enriched uranium for the fuel assemblies of nuclear power plants under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In March 2010, Russia introduced the first LEU reserve (to store 120 tonnes) for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the International Uranium Enrichment Center in Angarsk, southeastern Siberia. The terms and conditions were the same as being currently negotiated with Kazakhstan: The host country provides the storage facility and funds the maintenance, physical security and safeguards.
The Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the Host Country Agreement is due to be signed by the end of this year, after the IAEA board of governors meeting. Physical construction will begin in mid-2013.
The IAEA and its donors have pledged US$150 million for the project.
However, the general population remains confused as to what purpose the fuel bank might serve in Kazakhstan, as many understand that there is little if any economic benefit to be gained.
Some locals demand that before making the crucial decision on physically building the facilities for the bank, the population should be consulted and everything explained. Some are worried that there is very little economic benefit to be realized from hosting the bank. Others cannot help suspecting that under the guise of low-enriched uranium, the plant will host real nuclear waste and damage the fragile environment of East Kazakhstan province even further.
The possibility that an open public debate will be held is next to zero. It is clear, however, from official statements that the authorities will attempt to use the initiative as another propaganda tool to advance the country's image worldwide.
(Asia Times Sep. 7, 2012)
> See also:
Uranium Enrichment and Fuel Fabrication: Operating Issues (Korea, DPR) · Decommissioning Issues (Korea, DPR)
Revised nuclear deal with U.S. opens South Korea the possibility of gaining the ability to enrich uranium
South Korea said a new nuclear treaty with the United States that will govern its commercial nuclear activities for the next 20 years is set to enter into effect.
The countries agreed to the revised treaty in April after spending several years arguing whether South Korea should have the right to enrich and reprocess U.S.-origin nuclear fuel for commercial purposes.
The revised deal continues to deny South Korea that right, but opens the possibility of the country gaining the ability to enrich uranium to produce non-weapons grade nuclear fuel depending on future negotiations with the United States.
(AP Nov. 25, 2015)
South Korea seeks right to enrich uranium
The government plans to resume negotiations to revise a 1974 atomic energy pact with the U.S. this month and focus on securing the right to enrich uranium for nuclear power generation.
Despite being the world's fifth largest nuclear power producer, Korea cannot enrich uranium by itself and spends W900 billion [US$ 821 million] every year buying uranium yellowcake and commissioning other countries to enrich uranium for its nuclear reactors.
(Chosun Mar. 13, 2013)
Satellite imagery suggests Pakistan building uranium enrichment facility
Airbus Defence and Space imagery captured on 28 September 2015 and on 18 April 2016 shows new construction at Pakistan's Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) site in Kahuta that is consistent with that of a uranium enrichment facility.
The area is approximately 1.2 ha in size and is located within the secure area of the KRL in the southwestern part of the complex, which is situated in Pakistan's northeastern Punjab Province.
(IHS Jane's Defence Weekly Sep 16, 2016)
Pakistan's uranium enrichment facility will be under IAEA safeguards
The uranium conversion and enrichment facility planned by Pakistan will be under IAEA safeguards, Chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Anwar Ali told the the 51st General Conference of International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. He said Pakistan has chalked out a plan to expand power generation to meet the demand of its growing economy and the share of nuclear power in the energy mix to 8800 MW by the year 2030.
(PPI Sep. 18, 2007)
Pakistan plans to build nuclear fuel facilities to achieve self-reliance for nuclear fuel fabrication
Pakistan has decided to build a $1.192 billion (Rs72.2 billion) facility to develop the capacity to manufacture the full cycle of nuclear fuel and nuclear power plants.
Dawn has learnt that the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) will set up a Pakistan Nuclear Power Fuel Complex (PNPFC) to attain the capability to manufacture pressurised water reactors (PWRs) and nuclear power plants (NPPs).
Knowledgeable sources said Pakistan took the decision because of denial of technology from the suppliers to all except the favoured countries.
They said the complex would comprise a Chemical Processing Plant, Fuel Fabrication Plant, Nuclear Power Fuel Testing Project and Seamless Tube Plant-1.
Being an indigenous facility, the complex will assure regular supply of nuclear fuel to PWRs. It will cost over Rs36.1 billion to the national exchequer.
The Chemical Processing Plant, which will cost Rs28 billion, is meant to produce nuclear fuel and structural materials and natural UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) gas from the commercially available yellow cake (U3O8) and convert depleted UF6 gas into depleted uranium metal.
The plant will act as a roadmap for ultimately achieving the capability of fulfilling one-thirds of the total fuel requirement needed for the NPPs, planned to be constructed by 2030. Initially, the PAEC is expected to construct six to eight NPPs indigenously.
The Fuel Fabrication Plant is proposed to be built at a cost of Rs3.7 billion and its prime objective is to develop capability for indigenous fabrication of fuel assembly for fulfilling the major share of fuel requirements for existing and future NPPs.
The PAEC has informed higher authorities that an indigenous Fuel Fabrication Plant is required to ensure reliable and uninterrupted fuel supply "which may otherwise be affected any time because of international politics and pressure".
At present, the government is importing nuclear fuel from China for the 300MW Chashma Nuclear Power Plant-2. The fabrication cost is about $486 million and the proposed Fuel Fabrication Plant will enable the country to achieve self-reliance for PWR fuel fabrication technology for the assured supply of nuclear power to existing and future NPPs.
(Dawn Aug. 8, 2007)
> See extra page
As part of Turkey's plans to develop its nuclear potential the Turkish Energy Ministry is moving toward plans to position the country as a regional center for uranium enrichment, sources revealed on Jan. 14, 2008.
The issue will be discussed at a nuclear energy meeting that will be held in Istanbul on Jan. 18, 2008. In addition to Tomihiro Taniguchi, the No. 2 at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), top-level officials from America, Russia, France and the United Kingdom will reportedly be attending the meeting.
(Turkish Daily News Jan. 15, 2008)