‘Cru­cial year’ for nu­clear en­ergy sec­tor

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LYUCHANG lvchang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Eight new nu­clear re­ac­tors will go on­line this year and six to eight oth­ers will be ap­proved, a se­nior in­dus­try of­fi­cial said onWed­nes­day.

“The year of 2015 marks an im­por­tant year for China to re­sume its nu­clear power pro­gram af­ter Ja­pan’s nu­clear cri­sis,” Zhang Huazhu, chair­man of the China Nu­clear En­ergy As­so­ci­a­tion, said dur­ing the 11th China In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion on Nu­clear Power In­dus­try 2015 in Bei­jing.

The na­tion’s in­stalled nu­clear ca­pac­ity will soon ap­proach 50 gi­gawatts. There are 23 nu­clear re­ac­tors in op­er­a­tion and 26 un­der con­struc­tion, the as­so­ci­a­tion said.

Last year, nu­clear gen­er­a­tion rose 18.9 per­cent to 130.6 bil­lion kilo­watt-hours, but that fig­ure only ac­counted for 2.4 per­cent of the coun­try’s to­tal power gen­er­a­tion, leav­ing room for growth, ac­cord­ing to the as­so­ci­a­tion.

Zhang said that nu­clear power will play a big­ger role in op­ti­miz­ing China’s en­ergy mix, cop­ing with cli­mate change and cut­ting air pol­lu­tion.

“In the com­ing decade, China will main­tain a rapid pace of nu­clear power devel­op­ment so that it can reach the tar­get of nu­clear in­stal­la­tions by 2020 and make bet­ter use of en­ergy,” Zhang said.

Ear­lier this month, the pi­lot Fuqing nu­clear power project in Fu­jian prov­ince, us­ing the Hua­long One tech­nol­ogy, a do­mes­ti­cally de­vel­oped third­gen­er­a­tion nu­clear re­ac­tor de­sign, got the green light from the State Coun­cil (cabi­net).

The

ap­proval,

which

was granted dur­ing an ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing on April 15 presided over by Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang, will im­prove the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the coun­try’s equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing on the global stage, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased af­ter the meet­ing.

The tech­nol­ogy was de­vel­oped by two nu­clear power gi­ants — China Na­tional Nu­clear Corp and China Gen­er­alNu­clear Power Group.

The ap­proval, which came af­ter con­struc­tion be­gan at the Hongyan River nu­clear power plant in Liaon­ing prov­ince in March, is set to make Fuqing the first nu­clear project that will use the third­gen­er­a­tion nu­clear tech­nol­ogy.

China’s nu­clear pro­gram was suspended af­ter the Fukushima nu­clear dis­as­ter in Ja­pan four years ago.

The Fangcheng­gang nu­clear power plant in the Guangxi Zhuang au­ton­o­mous re­gion, also us­ing the Hua­long One de­sign, is likely to be­come the next project ap­proved by reg­u­la­tors, ex­perts from CGN said dur­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion.

Other projects such as the Shi­dao Bay nu­clear demon­stra­tion project in Shan­dong prov­ince will soon get ap­proval as well, ex­perts said.

The tech­nol­ogy in the Shi­dao Bay plant is the CAP 1400, which is based on the ad­vanced AP1000 pres­sur­ized wa­ter re­ac­tor in­tro­duced into China by United States-based West­ing­house Elec­tric Corp, now owned by Ja­pan’s Toshiba Corp.

China’s to­tal in­vest­ment in com­pleted nu­clear power projects dropped 6.6 per­cent to 56.9 bil­lion yuan ($9.3 bil­lion) in 2014, ac­cord­ing to the as­so­ci­a­tion.

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