No contract signed during Yeltsin visit

Prior to Jeltsin’s visit to China, the Russian Minister for Atomic Energy, Victor Michailov, expressed his confidence that the contract on delivery of a nuclear power plant to China would be signed shortly. Apparently, this did not happen. Vladislav Petrov, press-spokesman for the Minister for Atomic Energy, would neither reject nor confirm this information when approached by Bellona Web the other day.

The three billion USD contract on delivery of a Russian nuclear power plant to the Chinese province Liaoning was expected to be signed during Russian President Yeltsin’s visit to China in the first half of November. On November 10, Yeltsin’s press-spokesman, Sergey Yastrzhembsky stated that the contract was to be signed later that day. The reason for the unexpected hesitation on the Chinese side is unclear.

–The two sides had useful discussions and will have more talks in the future, said a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry to Agence France Press.

China has announced plans to build several dozen nuclear power plants over the next 20 years, as it attempts to boost nuclear-generated electricity to 4% of its energy supply, writes the Moscow Times. But the Chinese plans do not necessary translate into opportunities for foreign power-station builders.

–The nation is rather interested in developing its own domestic program, said Steven Dolley at the Nuclear Control Institute in Washington.

Nevertheless, the Chinese president visited USA a few weeks ago, reaching a 50 billion USD general agreement on delivery of around 100 American nuclear reactor installations to China.

Igor Kudrik

igor@bellona.no