East Asia Science & Security Network Report, February 15, 2007

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"East Asia Science & Security Network Report, February 15, 2007", EASSNet, February 15, 2007, https://nautilus.org/eassnet/east-asia-science-security-network-report-february-15-2007/

1. Nautilus Asian Energy Security Associate Wins Conference Contest

Nautilus Institute associate Ruslan Gulidov, ranked first in the 8th Open Conference-Contest for Young Scientists and Postgraduates of Khabarovskiy Krai (Economic Section) for his paper, “EVALUATION OF CRUCIAL FACTORS OF LONG-TERM DEVELOPMENT OF ENERGY SECTOR IN THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST”. Gulidov is a junior researcher at the Economic Institute, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (Khabarovsk) and an active participant in Nautilus Institute’s Asian Energy Security Program. Using Long Range Energy Alternatives (LEAP) software, his model simulated energy futures scenarios for the Russian Far East (RFE). The paper includes discussion on RFE primary energy, long run economic and ecologic indicators of RFE energy sector, key driving forces and evaluation of the role of crucial specific factors of energy development in RFE (energy efficiency policy, large-scale electricity export, wide energy cooperation with North East Asian countries, etc). The conference was held in 17-18 January 2006 under the auspices of Government of Khabarovskiy Krai in the Russian Far East

2. PRC Currency Revaluation and Energy Demand

The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) (Suehiro Shigeru, Yanagisawa Akira, “CHINA’S ECONOMIC AND ENERGY SITUATION AND AN IMPACT ANALYSIS OF APPRECIATION OF THE YUAN,” November 2005) released this paper in response to growing interest on how a revaluation of the Yuan will affect energy prices. The authors evaluated the impact on the Chinese economy of the recent Yuan revaluation and also the impact on China’s energy demand. Based on a short term quantitative analysis of the impact of a revaulate Yuan on energy demand, the authors conclude “if the Yuan is appreciated by 10%, real GDP drops by 1.7%, and energy demand (primary supply) falls by 0.9%. Oil demand also drops by only 80,000 B/D, thus there is a limited impact on alleviating global supply-demand situation for oil.”

(view report here.)

3. PRC Plutonium Recycling

International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation (inesap) (Hui Zhang, “CHINA’S POLICY OF PLUTONIUM RECYCLING: WHAT’S THE RATIONALE?” INESAP, Issue No. 25, April 2005) released this paper in an Information Bulletin focusing on nuclear proliferation risks. “At a time when plutonium recycling programs are being phased out worldwide, this paper …examine(s) whether plutonium recycling makes sense for China, taking into account economic costs, nuclear energy security, and environmental aspects.”

Read the paper at: http://www.inesap.org/sites/default/files/inesap_old/bulletin25/art20.htm

View the inesap website: http://www.inesap.org/

4. Gender Energy Poverty Index

ENERGIA, International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy (E. Cecelski, “ENERGY, DEVELOPMENT AND GENDER: GLOBAL CORRELATIONS AND CAUSALITY,” October 2005) released this report as “one of a series of research papers being published under the…ENERGIA/DFID KaR project. Elizabeth Cecelski, Principal Investigator, has prepared this paper, which explores global statistical studies and their evidence on correlation and causality in the linkages among energy, development and gender. It attempts to make a Gender-Energy-Poverty (GEP) Index based on the data available for 57 countries. The paper concludes with suggestions on how to ensure a gender perspective in future statistical studies on energy access and development indicators.”

(view report here.)

Visit the ENERGIA website at: www.energia.org

5. US-PRC Oil and Gas Competition

Greenwire (“OIL AND GAS: DOE STUDY FINDS CHINA’S THIRST FOR BLACK GOLD NOT A THREAT TO THE U.S.,” Februrary 8, 2006) reported that a [U.S.] Energy Department study released [February 7] found that China’s attempt to increase its oil resources is not an economic threat to the United States. “Even if China’s equity oil investments ‘remove’ assets from the global market, in the sense that they are not subsequently available for resale, these actions merely displace what the Chinese would have otherwise bought on the open market,” the study said. The study warned that Chinese business relationships with oil-rich “despotic regimes” such as Sudan posed “potential problems” strategically, but it maintained that such moves are “economically neutral.”

6. Global Nuclear Power Partnership

The Financial Times (B. Bain, “US PROPOSES GLOBAL NUCLEAR POWER ‘PARTNERSHIP’ ENERGY STRATEGY,” February 7, 2006) reported that the US Energy Department [February 6] proposed a broad-based nuclear power plan designed to meet surging domestic and world energy needs by encouraging the construction of nuclear power plants in the US for the first time in a generation, and setting up an international programme for the exchange of nuclear fuel. The initiative, called the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), would seek a partnership with other established nuclear countries such as the UK, France, Russia, China and Japan to export nuclear fuel waste to developing countries and encourage them to use [small scale reactors] that burn plutonium and other by-products from conventional reactors.

Financial Times Information (“JAPAN OFFERS TO COOPERATE WITH US NUCLEAR ENERGY PLAN,” from Kyodo News Agency, February 8, 2006) reported that Japan has offered to cooperate with the recently announced US programme to expand civilian nuclear energy in the United States and other countries while protecting nuclear fuel and waste, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday [8 February]. Japanese sources said US Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell visited Japan on 20 January to brief Japanese officials from the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Cabinet Office.

In response to the US proposed Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, Matthew Bunn, Acting Executive Director of Managing the Atom Project argues that “while the energy and nonproliferation objectives of this initiative are laudable, the focus on reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from U.S. and foreign reactors is not necessary to achieve these objectives, and indeed is likely to undermine them. The future of nuclear energy will be brightest if it can be made as cheap, safe, proliferation-resistant, terrorist-resistant, simple, and uncontroversial as possible — and reprocessing in the near term points in the wrong direction on every one of these counts. Reprocessing using any of the technologies likely to be available in the near term would cost tens of billions of dollars, involve significant risks, and provide limited waste management benefits.”

Read Bunn’s testimony (“THE CASE AGAINST A NEAR-TERM DECISION TO REPROCESS SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL IN THE UNITED STATES,” June 16, 2005) to the U.S. House of Representatives here.

7. RFE Energy and G8

Agence France Presse (“WEST TO TAKE RUSSIA TO TASK AT G8 ENERGY MEETING,” February 9, 2006) reported that western countries will voice concern that Russia is using energy exports to pressure its neighbours and muscle in on the European market when G8 energy ministers meet here next month, a European Union official said on Thursday. “Russia and the USSR have been a reliable partner for the last 40 years… We believe they will continue to be but are worried that they want to control the whole energy chain,” the EU official told AFP on the sidelines of an energy forum in Moscow.


8. PRC Renewable Energy

Xinhua General News Service (“WB OFFERS LOAN TO RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT IN CHINA,” February 8, 2006) reported that the World Bank has approved an 86.33 million US dollar loan to scale up China’s use of renewable energy as the country’s demand for power increases, the bank said Wednesday. The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved the follow-up project to the 2005 China Renewable Energy Scale-Up Program Phase 1, which would develop a large wind farm in the China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and rehabilitate and develop selected small hydropower projects in Zhejiang Province, the bank said in a statement.

9. Energy and Environment

Agence France Presse (“TOXIC SLICK TO REACH JAPAN IN SPRING, RUSSIAN OFFICIALS WARN,” February 8, 2006) reported that the toxic materials from the slick that oozed into Russia’s Amur river from China [after an explosion in November 13 at a PetroChina chemical factory in the northeastern province of Jilin] may reach Japanese shores in spring, officials in Russia’s Far East city of Khabarovsk warned Wednesday. “The pollution will have negative impact not only on the Khabarovsk region, but also most likely Sakhalin, the Kurils, Hokkaido and shores of continental Russia south of the Amur, and Korea,” the chief of the region’s external economic policy department Alexander Kiryanov said.

(view report here.)

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