Haix­ing nu­clear power plant to be on­line by 2020

China Daily (Canada) - - VIEWS - By ZHENG XIN zhengxin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

He­bei prov­ince’s first nu­clear power plant, with a to­tal in­vest­ment of 120 bil­lion yuan ($17.4 bil­lion), is ex­pected to be in op­er­a­tion by the end of 2020.

Con­struc­tion of the Haix­ing nu­clear plant, lo­cated in the city of Cangzhou in the east­ern part of the prov­ince close to the Bo­hai Sea, started last year.

The plant will use a West­ing­house AP1000 re­ac­tor and take 54 months to build, ac­cord­ing to CNNP CHD He­beiNu­clear Power Co Ltd, a unit of China Na­tional Nu­clear Power Co Ltd.

An an­a­lyst said China’s en­ergy de­mand will con­tinue to rise over the medium term, with nu­clear power play­ing a grow­ing role.

Joseph Ja­co­belli, a senior Asian util­i­ties an­a­lyst at Bloomberg In­tel­li­gence, said the sec­tor’s ex­pan­sion had been ac­cel­er­at­ing in re­cent years.

He said that as the world’s big­gest en­ergy con­sumer, China is on a fast track to con­struct more nu­clear power plants to re­place coal-fired sta­tions, in or­der to fight air pol­lu­tion.

“China wants to ur­gently re­duce the amount of power gen­er­a­tion from coal-fired plants, a fuel that the na­tion has been overe­liant on,” Ja­co­belli said.

“Coal was re­spon­si­ble for more than 70 per­cent of elec­tric power gen­er­a­tion in 2016 and this should fall to be­low 50 per­cent in the next few years in fa­vor of nu­clear, hy­dro and re­new­ables,” he said.

“This is es­pe­cially true in north­ern China where the new Haix­ing plant will be lo­cated.”

Ja­co­belli said Chi­nese com­pa­nies are also de­vel­op­ing lo­cal tech­nolo­gies in man­u­fac­tur­ing nu­clear fuel as­sem­blies, to rely less on in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies to fab­ri­cate nu­clear fuel.

“The more nu­clear re­ac­tors China adds, the more ex­pe­ri­ence it can draw on from the con­struc­tion of these units, and this ex­pe­ri­ence can be uti­lized by do­mes­tic de­vel­op­ers to ex­pand over­seas,” he said.

In 2014, CNNC signed a co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment with the He­bei pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to build a num­ber of plants and in­dus­trial parks in the prov­ince, in­clud­ing a ura­nium pro­cess­ing plant and nu­clear power plant.

He­bei has pri­or­i­tized nu­clear power projects in re­cent years to boost its eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion and up­grad­ing.

China now has 36 nu­clear power re­ac­tors in op­er­a­tion, 21 un­der con­struc­tion and more about to start con­struc­tion, ac­cord­ing to the World Nu­clear As­so­ci­a­tion.

The coun­try plans to have 58 gi­gawatts of nu­clear power in op­er­a­tion by 2020.

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