In order to cater to growing power demand, China is likely to begin construction on inland nuclear reactors in the next four years, resuming plans for nuclear power plants that were halted after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, a senior energy official told Chinese media on Monday.
China has already decided which locations would host its inland nuclear power plants, Wang Yiren, vice director of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, and vice-chairman of the China Atomic Energy Authority, has told China National Radio in an interview.
As of 2015, China’s 2016-2020 Five-Year Plan had the government investing US$78 billion to build seven new reactors a year from 2016 for the next five years. According to the plan, the country will reach 88 gigawatts of nuclear power by the end of 2020.
The resumption of the projects for China’s inland nuclear power stations is yet to be made official, but at least 10 provinces have already offered to develop their own nuclear power industries, according to China News Service.
The National Development and Reform Commission has already approved three inland nuclear reactors that are now waiting for construction to start: Taohuajiang in Central China’s Hunan province, Xianning in Central China’s Hubei Province, and Pengze in East China’s Jiangxi Province.
Apart from inland nuclear power stations, China plans to develop floating nuclear facilities as part of its Five-Year Plan through 2020, Wang said. The country has tasked experts to look into the feasibility of floating nuclear power stations.
According to Wang, floating power plants could provide a safe and efficient power supply to remote islands in the South China Sea.
According to the World Nuclear Association, mainland China has 36 nuclear power reactors in operation, 21 under construction, and more about to start construction. Nuclear capacity is expected to double to at least 58 GWe by 2020-21, and reach up to 150 GWe by 2030.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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