NAPSNet Daily Report 20 July, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- US-DPRK Relations
- Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
- ROK-PRC Climate Change Cooperation
- PRC Energy Security
- Japanese Nuclear Fuel Cycle
1. I. Napsnet
2. US-DPRK Relations
Yonhap (Hwang Doo-hyong, “PRESIDENT OBAMA NOT TO SEND GOV. RICHARDSON TO PYONGYANG”, Washington, 2010/07/19) reported that US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley on Monday dismissed reports that the government is considering sending New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to the DPRK to discuss a possible breakthrough in U.S. relations with the North. A senior Obama administration official, asking anonymity, also said, “The report is inaccurate. There is no consideration being given by the administration to sending Richardson to North Korea.”
3. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
Yonhap (Sam Kim, “INFLUX OF GOODS FROM INTER-KOREAN FACTORY PARK STAYS CONSISTENT: GOV’T”, Seoul, 2010/07/20) reported that the volume of products transported from the Kaesong industrial park stood at 6,953 tons in June, compared to 7,004 tons a month earlier when the ROK banned trade with the DPRK and cut the number of DPRK workers staying in Kaesong, the Unification Ministry said in a release. “There has been little difference in the amount of manufactured products brought in since the May 24 measures,” which the ROK imposed after the sinking of the Cheonan, it said.
4. ROK-PRC Climate Change Cooperation
Yonhap (“S. KOREA TO INVEST IN CHINESE BIOMASS ENERGY PROJECT”, Seoul, 2010/07/20) reported that the ROK plans to invest 40 billion won (US$33 million) of its national carbon fund in a biomass power generation plant in central PRC, the government said Tuesday. The plan calls for using fallen branches from over 50 million apple trees as biomass fuel. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy claims the move can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 320,000 tons annually due to the reduction in the burning of coal. Under the clean development mechanism (CDM), the ROK can receive credits for the reduction.
5. PRC Energy Security
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA REJECTS WORLD’S NUMBER ONE ENERGY USER TITLE”, Beijing, 2010/07/20) reported that the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal cited a top International Energy Agency official as saying the PRC had surpassed the United States to become the world’s top energy consumer in 2009, earlier than expected. According to the IEA, the PRC consumed 2.252 billion tons of oil equivalent of energy in 2009 — about four percent more than the United States. But an official with the PRC’s National Energy Administration told reporters the report was flawed. “The IEA’s data on China’s energy use is unreliable,” the official, Zhou Xian, was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.
6. Japanese Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (“ATOMIC AGENCY RELEASES REPORTS ON STEADY DEVELOPMENT OF FBR CYCLE”, Tokyo, 2010/07/20) reported that on July 13, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) delivered a progress report on the Fast Reactor Cycle Technology Development (FaCT) Program to the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC). JAEA has been carrying out the FaCT program since FY06 (starting April 1, 2006), in anticipation of fully realizing the commercialization of fast reactor (FR) and related fuel cycle technology by around FY50. Having looked at 22 innovative technologies deemed promising in concept – such as combinations and variations of sodium-cooled FRs, advanced aqueous reprocessing, and simplified pelletizing fuel fabrication – JAEA has found 12 of them to be “adoptable” for commercialization.