From Volume 37, Issue 11 of EIR Online, Published Mar. 19, 2010

Global Economic News

India Plans Five Nuclear Energy Parks in Coastal Provinces

March 9 (EIRNS)—Attending the Paris nuclear conference, chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission, Srikumar Banerjee, told the audience that India is going ahead with setting up five nuclear energy parks in its coastal states. We are in talks with the U.S., France, and Russia for this; it all depends on the offers that India gets (for the technical collaboration), Banerjee said. The objective was to set up two nuclear reactors in each of the five energy parks at Mithi Virdi in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, Kovada in Andhra Pradesh, Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Haripur in West Bengal, and at a site in Orissa as well. Initially, these energy parks will have 2-2,500 MW capacity, but this will be extended later to become 5-6,000 MW energy parks. The land acquisition process is already on for this, S.K. Jain, chairman and managing director of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India told reporters in Paris. He pointed out that this would help enormously in meeting India's energy needs in the next few years.

Speaking earlier in the day at a conference on access to civil nuclear energy in Paris, Banerjee told delegates the world should adopt a closed-fuel nuclear process in nuclear plants, which essentially means reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. This is essential, since even the uranium reserves in the world to generate nuclear energy will be exhausted after 70 to 80 years, and so should be reprocessed, he said. Banerjee said that the use of a closed fuel cycle is essential to meet energy needs of the world, and that the world could look at thorium, which is proliferation resistant. He said that the uranium derived from thorium is gamma active, which renders it ineffective for purposes of developing nuclear weapons.

The AEC chairman also pointed to the fact that developing countries have to grow at much faster rates (about 10% of GDP) compared to the developed world, and that the energy needs of the developing world would therefore grow immensely in the next few years.

China Denounces Carry Trade Against China

March 9 (EIRNS)—A Chinese official on March 9 denounced the carry trade against his nation, warning that it was subverting China's currency and economic policy. Yi Gang, head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said at a news conference in Beijing that China's currency is being driven higher through the influx of "hot money slipping into China, disguised as foreign direct investment or as trade accounts through underground money shops," according to the official People's Daily. Yi specifically warned those who were using the "gap of China's high interest rates [currently at 5.31%—ed.] and the near-zero rates in major trading partners."

Yi also said that China's foreign exchange reserves are "now appropriately diversified," noting that Beijing had sold off $34 billion in December.

South Korea Pushes Ahead on the Nuclear Front

March 10 (EIRNS)—Korea Electric Power Corp. and Turkey's Electricity Generation A.S. signed an agreement to expand cooperation on nuclear power development at an Istanbul forum March 10. The pact calls for joint research to see if the Korean-built APR1400 reactor can be used in the proposed Sinop nuclear power plant on the Black Sea coast.

In Seoul, the four-day Summit of Honor on Atoms for Peace and Environment (SHAPE) also opened today. The event includes IAEA ex-Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. Officials and atomic energy experts from the United States, France, Germany, Canada, Russia, China, and other countries are attending the meeting, along with NGOs.

In his keynote address at the SHAPE (Summit of Honor on Atoms for Peace and Environment) conference now being held in Seoul, Korean Prime Minister Chung Un-chan said that his country will secure its right to develop reprocessing technology for spent nuclear fuel for peaceful energy use.

"Korea plans to develop advanced technology on establishing a nuclear fuel cycle so that the country could recycle spent atomic fuel for energy use and to reduce high-level radioactive waste." now being held.

South Korea is unable to reprocess nuclear fuel, under a cooperation agreement on nuclear use signed with the United States in 1974. The treaty will expire in 2014.

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