French Nuclear Technology To China – Business Insider
It extended the high-speed rail network to 5,800 miles. And the network will practically double over the next three years if government funding continues to flow. By comparison, it will take the US, or more precisely California, an unknown number of years, perhaps as many as 20, to complete the link between San Francisco and Los Angeles [California’s High-Speed Rail to Nowhere].
On the Beijing-Guangzhou line, trains will run at a maximum speed of 186 mph, specs that the TGV mastered decades ago. Initially, China struggled to develop its own technology. After it tripped badly, it decided to import some trains, and the missing technology, from Japan, Germany, and France.
They all got a piece of the pie. Alstom of France won an order for 60 sets of its latest tilt-technology trains, the Pendolino. Three were delivered fully assembled; six were delivered in kits and assembled by an entity of China National Rail; and the remainder were manufactured in China with some imported components and a lot of transferred technology.
And that was mostly it for TGV sales in China. Now, China has the ability to manufacture its own trains. It’s pushing the technology to the next level. And it will become a formidable anywhere in the world, even in California.
Nuclear energy—where France has also been proudly on the forefront—was going to be next. Until the scandal of massive nuclear-technology transfers broke into the open. The central figure, Henri Proglio, CEO of mega-utility EDF that owns France’s 58 active nuclear reactors but derives almost half of its revenues from outside France, has come under investigation by the Inspector General of Finance (IGF). Of particular interest: the agreement to sell nuclear and industrial secrets and know-how to China in order to conclude a deal that had been “aborted.”
On Thursday, the government announced that it would try to shed some light on the relationship between the French nuclear industry and its Chinese partners. And on Friday, it was leaked that the government, which owns 84.4% of EDF, will sack Proglio in February or March and replace him with the CEO of state-owned railroad SNCF, Guillaume Pépy, who immediately denied being “candidate for anything.” The revolving door of state-owned companies.
The intrigue goes back years. In January 2012, during the presidential campaign, a confidential agreement bubbled up, signed in Beijing on April 29, 2010, by Proglio and He Yu, the CEO of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC). It envisioned a tight partnership concerning the “design” of nuclear reactors and the transfer of nuclear technologies—to the point where Chinese specialists would be associated with the construction of reactors … in France.