27 April 2004
BEIJING – Negotiations over the sale of a redundant plutonium plant from Germany to China are “ceased”, said a ministry spokesperson on Tuesday.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will not discuss the issue during his visit beginning of next week to Germany, according to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kong Quan.
Plans for the plutonium plant deal were announced during a visit to China by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in early December.
“The contacts are terminated,” said the spokesperson. “I do not think that Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will address the issue with the German side.”
The redundant plant, which reportedly cost more than EUR 700 million, was to be sold for an estimated EUR 50 million.
However, Kong said that discussions could be reopened with the businesses involved. Siemens wants to sell the never used Hanau plant to China’s National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).
China plans to more than double its nuclear power capacity by 2020, and the import of the German plant would enable China to process spent nuclear fuel rods into mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel for use in pressurized water reactors.
The announcement drew protests from environmentalists and Schroeder’s coalition partners in the Green Party.
The CNNC has repeatedly said that the nuclear fuel-rod processing plant cannot be used for military purposes.
Subject: German news