Giuseppe Sandro Mela.
La Cina ha un enorme bisogno di energia sicura a costi contenuti e, soprattutto, non dipendente da forniture estere.
La Cina ha già in opera un grandioso piano di costruzione di centrali nucleari.
«Gli Stati Uniti sono al primo posto con un centinaio di reattori nucleari operativi, seguiti dalla Francia con 58 e dal Giappone con 43 unità»
Oltre a reattori sviluppati con tecnologie proprie, la Cina ha numerose collaborazioni internazionali.
«The EPR is a third generation pressurised water reactor (PWR) design. It has been designed and developed mainly by Framatome (part of Areva between 2001 and 2017) and Électricité de France (EDF) in France, and Siemens in Germany. In Europe this reactor design was called European Pressurised Reactor, and the internationalised name was Evolutionary Power Reactor, but it is now simply named EPR.
The first two EPR units, at Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in France, are both facing costly construction delays (to at least 2020). Construction commenced on two Chinese units at Taishan in 2009 and 2010. Taishan 1 achieved criticality on 6 June 2018. Taishan 2 is expected to begin operation in 2019. Two units at Hinkley Point in the United Kingdom received final approval in September 2016 and are expected to be completed by 2025.
EDF has acknowledged severe difficulties in building the EPR design. In September 2015 EDF stated that the design of a “New Model” EPR was being worked on, which will be easier and cheaper to build.»
Il grande problema dei reattori Epr è costituto dai costi di costruzione, che li rendono ad oggi più una scommessa sul futuro piuttosto che un’opzione al momento economicamente competitiva.
D’altra parte però una nazione grande quanto un intero continente deve differenziare le tipologie di reattori in uso e può tollerare la conseguente disparità di costi unitari.
Da notare infine che la China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) è entrata nel progetto al 75% rilevando anche una parte di brevetti e know-how. Nei fatti, se è vero che il progetto iniziale sia europeo, si dovrebbe ammettere che questa installazione funzionante sia a prevalente tecnologia cinese.
Si potrebbe essere facili profeti nel prognosticare che tra non molto tempo tutte le tecnologie nucleari saranno passate in mano a russi e cinesi, con tutte le conseguenze del caso.
Gli europei avevano fatto cospicui investimenti nel nucleare, poi virtualmente abbandonato per motivi di ideologie politiche. Scelte gravi e pesanti e, purtroppo, le colpe dei padri ricadranno sui figli.
→ Reuters. 2018-12-14. China launches world’s first EPR nuclear project in Taishan
BEIJING (Reuters) – The world’s first third-generation “Evolutionary Power Reactor” (EPR) has gone into operation at Taishan in China’s Guangdong province, the French and Chinese developers behind the project announced on Friday.
The 1,750-megawatt EPR, formerly known as the “European Pressurised Reactor” and designed by France’s Areva, completed a 168-hour trial run on Thursday evening, said state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN).
Its commercial launch can be “a source of inspiration” for other next-generation reactors, Guo Limin, general manager of the Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company, said at a press briefing in Beijing.
The technology is also being deployed in France, Finland and the China-invested Hinkley Point C project in Britain. It was connected to China’s power grid on a trial basis for the first time in June.
The Taishan nuclear project is 70 percent-owned by CGN, with Electricite de France (EDF) controlling the rest. Areva, designer of the new reactor, is now known as Framatome, which is owned 75.5 percent by EDF.
Construction on two EPR units began at Taishan in 2009 with the first originally scheduled to be completed in 2013, but the design has been beset by a series of technical hitches and big cost overruns in China and elsewhere.
Taishan’s second unit is expected to go into full operation in the fourth quarter of 2019. Guo said construction was still ongoing and remained within the expected timeframe.
The EPR’s main foreign rival, the AP1000 designed by U.S.-based Westinghouse, has also made its global debut in China this year after a four-year construction delay.
The two models were originally expected to play a big role in China’s ambitious nuclear reactor building plans, but the hold-ups mean they must now compete with Russia’s VVER-1200 design, as well as China’s home-grown “Hualong One” brand.
Fabrice Fourcade, EDF’s chief representative in China, said the firm would be “very happy” to build more EPRs in China but this would depend on CGN and the Chinese government.
Though China aims to bring total installed nuclear power capacity to 58 gigawatts by the end of 2020 and have another 30 GW under construction, it has not given the go-ahead for any new conventional reactor projects in around three years.