Na­tion’s en­ergy pol­icy shifts from coal to ad­vanced re­ac­tors

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By KARL WIL­SON in Syd­ney karl­wil­son@chi­nadai­lya­pac.com

Twenty years ago, China had just three nu­clear power re­ac­tors. To­day, it has 38, with 19 more un­der con­struc­tion.

The coun­try ac­counts for more than half the new nu­clear power in­vest­ment glob­ally and is ex­pected by 2030 to pass the United States, which has led the world in nu­clear power gen­er­a­tion for half a cen­tury.

Af­ter decades of large-scale use of fos­sil fu­els to pro­duce en­ergy, China has rec­og­nized the im­pact this has had on the en­vi­ron­ment and the health of its peo­ple.

Eco­nomic losses due to pol­lu­tion ac­count for al­most 6 per­cent of GDP, ac­cord­ing to World Bank es­ti­mates.

To­day, there is a re­newed push for cleaner, greener en­ergy sources.

All as­pects of China’s nu­clear power in­dus­try — in­clud­ing de­sign, con­struc­tion, tech­nolo­gies, main­te­nance, man­age­ment, se­cu­rity, in­vest­ment, re­turns and fu­ture pro­jec­tions — are re­ceiv­ing re­newed at­ten­tion.

He Yu, chair­man of China Gen­eral Nu­clear Power Corp, has said that China should build four to six nu­clear re­ac­tors an­nu­ally to en­sure the in­stalled ca­pac­ity of nu­clear power reaches at least 150 gi­gawatts by 2030.

China’s nu­clear power pro­gram was put on hold af­ter the Fukushima nu­clear dis­as­ter in Ja­pan in 2011, with ap­provals for new nu­clear plants sus­pended and a na­tion­wide safety re­view launched af­ter the in­ci­dent.

He said last year that nu­clear en­ergy plays an ir­re­place­able role in China’s en­ergy se­cu­rity and en­ergy struc­ture op­ti­miza­tion, while it will also help to re­duce air pol­lu­tion caused by coal-fired power gen­er­a­tion.

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