Nation’s energy policy shifts from coal to advanced reactors
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.