Despite Delays, China Confirms Long-Term Plans for Nuclear Expansion

25 Apr

The nuclear crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant has not deterred China from proceeding with its ambitious nuclear energy expansion program.

On March 16th immediately following the meltdown at the Japanese nuclear facility, China halted approvals of new nuclear power plants.

The Chinese National Nuclear Safety Administration ordered full safety reviews at existing plants and will announce a full report this August.

Speculation surfaced over whether the nuclear crisis and the temporary halt in approvals would derail China’s nuclear goals, which aims for 60 new reactors by 2020 with an investment US $ 121.5 billion.  By this time, total Chinese nuclear power generation capacity would ramp up to 86GW.

Based on comments from a senior official at the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp Ltd., the crisis in Japan has influenced the “speed and scale” of China’s nuclear development program, but not the end goal. China is targeting advanced third generation nuclear technology in many of its planned plants.

The China Nuclear Energy Association reports that if all goes as expected, nuclear energy will account for 5% of the 15% power generation coming from renewable energy sources.  The China Energy Research Institute says at this rate, China may be building 12GW of nuclear capacity every year.  Read more…

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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Nuclear, Policy


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