Nuclear industry news


Six new nuclear reactors per year planned in China


The Chinese government has said many times since the end of 2013 that it will build more nuclear power plants in the coastal areas of eastern China without compromising the region's safety.


On May 16, the National Development and Reform Commission, the National Energy Administration and the Ministry of Environment Protection disclosed a program, saying that they will press forward with the construction of safe and efficient nuclear power plants, which they said are one of the country's important energy sources.


Pan Ziqiang, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told Shanghai's China Business News that nuclear power was a practical option for China to check air pollution.


He also stated that fossil fuels were the main cause for air pollution in China, particularly coal, and that facilitating the development of nuclear power and improving the efficiency of coal-burning power stations would effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


In 2012, Beijing promised to raise the share of non-fossil fuels to 15% of its whole primary energy by 2020 and cut by 40% the ratio of its GDP to carbon dioxide emissions.


According to data compiled by the government, Chinese nuclear power plants, both those operational and those under construction, will have a combined power capacity of 58,000 megawatts (MW) by 2015, which will further appreciate to 88,000 MW by 2020.


Currently, China has 21 reactors in operation, in addition to 28 units under construction, ranking fourth in the world in terms of the number of reactors.


During the first quarter of this year, Chinese nuclear power plants generated 2.6 trillion kilowatts (KW) of electricity between them, accounting for 2% of the total electricity produced in the country.


The country will start six new reactors every year from 2015 to 2020.


This means the country will pump 640 billion yuan (US$103.6 billion) into the nuclear power industry before 2020, with 480 billion yuan (US$77.7 billion) spent on building facilities, including 70 billion yuan (US$11.3 billion) in 2014, according to the China Nuclear Energy Association.


The huge investment has attracted bids from both state and private Chinese businesses, with an anonymous general manager of a private company telling the paper, "We are gearing up for booming business this year as the peak time for the construction of nuclear power plants is coming."