[Date Prev][Date Next]
[cdn-nucl-l] China Wants US Reactor
US Says China to Lead Way in Nuclear Energy
CHINA: December 20, 2004
BEIJING - Outgoing US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said on Friday
China would emerge a leader in nuclear energy and called for further
cooperation between the two countries in developing alternative
sources of power.
But he made no mention of Washington's decision on the first-ever sale
of powerful US-made nuclear reactors to China.
China's aim to expand its nuclear power generation capability and
moves to embrace the newest generation of nuclear reactors were very
impressive, he told an audience of students at the prestigious
"China is going to emerge in this century as a global leader in
nuclear energy," he said during a two-day visit to Beijing.
"We hope we can learn more from your progress in this area so that it
might be possible for us in America to see an expansion of nuclear
energy in the years ahead," said Abraham, who is due to be replaced by
treasury deputy secretary Samuel Bodman.
Beijing, struggling with power shortages that pose a threat to
economic growth, has outlined an ambitious plan to build dozens of
reactors over the next couple of decades and quadruple its nuclear
power capacity to 36,000 megawatts by 2020.
The government hopes nuclear power will account for about 4 percent of
total output by 2020 from around 1.7 percent.
A senior US official said in October Washington would likely approve
the reactor sale to China in the next few months.
Approval would be a victory for Pittsburgh-based, British-owned
Westinghouse Electric Co., which applied in February to build two of
its 1,100 megawatt, next-generation AP1000 reactors in China.
Nils Diaz, chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said at
that time the United States was expected to ask China not to sell the
next-generation nuclear technology to countries such as Iran and North
Former US President Bill Clinton cleared the way for US reactor sales
to China in 1998 under a bilateral cooperation pact after Beijing
promised to stop selling to Iran.
But in the past two years, US officials have said Beijing might be
backing away from that commitment. As recently as April, the
administration imposed sanctions on five Chinese firms for trading
with Iran, which Washington has accused of developing nuclear weapons,
a charge Tehran denies.
Abraham said it was essential that China and the United States work
together to ensure adequate global energy supplies given they
accounted for a third of world energy consumption.
Beijing and Washington had agreed in January to form a US-China Energy
Policy Dialogue to enhance bilateral cooperation in areas including
energy efficiency and renewable energy, he said.
"We are now preparing to move forward on a policy level," Abraham
said, adding this initially meant building on the work of
international partnerships to which China and the US already belong.
Abraham met Chinese vice premier Zeng Peiyan on Thursday, but no
details on the discussions were available from the US embassy.
Randal Leavitt gnupg public key: bbbad04d
Registered User 267646 at http://counter.li.org/