BEIJING (Reuters) – The abrupt cancellation of a $6.5 billion uranium processing project in southern China has left Beijing with a headache as it tries to secure the fuel required to sustain an ambitious…
Duane Tilden‘s insight:
>China currently has 15 reactors with an aggregate installed capacity of 12.57 gigawatts (GW), but another 30 plants are under construction and due to go into operation between now and 2016, adding another 29 GW to the total.
Gaining more control over the global fuel supply chain is crucial to China’s plans to increase total nuclear capacity to 58 GW by 2020, and will require not only overseas acquisitions but also more enrichment capacity.
While Beijing’s 2020 target for the amount of power to be generated from nuclear sources was scaled back after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, its 2030 target of around 200 GW remained intact. Analysts expect annual primary uranium demand to rise tenfold over the period to around 40,000 tonnes.
To meet that demand, CNNC and CGNPC have been exploring domestic uranium deposits, but a surge in imports is inevitable, and is expected to put pressure on global supplies.<
For a long time, we’ve overlooked the inextricable relationship between water and energy use. Coal, nuclear and natural gas plants use enormous amounts of steam to create electricity. Producing all of that steam requires 190,000 million gallons of water per day, or 39% of all freshwater withdrawals in the nation.
Duane Tilden‘s insight:
>The longstanding division between energy and water considerations is particularly evident in the case of energy and water management. These resources are fundamentally intertwined: Energy is used to secure, deliver, treat and distribute water, while water is used (and often degraded) to develop, process and deliver energy.
Despite the inherent connection between the two sectors, energy and water planners routinely make decisions that impact one another without adequately understanding the scientific or policy complexities of the other sector. This miscommunication often hides joint opportunities for conservation to the detriment of budgets, efficiency, the environment and public health, and inhibits both sectors from fully accounting for the financial, environmental or social effects they have on each other.
This lack of collaboration between energy and water planners is especially dire considering Texas is in midst of an energy shortage that is exacerbated by the multi-year drought. Without adequate planning, we could someday have to choose between keeping our lights on and turning on the faucet.<