December 29, 2009

China Leads World In New Nuclear Plant Projects

China Has Most Nuclear Projects

Source: Global Times December 29 2009
By Ji Beibei

China has the largest number of nuclear powered projects under construction in the world, officials from the National Energy Administration said.

Zhang Guobao, director of the administration, said during a meeting of energy Sunday that there are eight new nuclear power stations under construc-tion with designed capacity of 31.4 million kilowatts.

He said the eight projects accounts for more than 30 percent of nuclear power generating units under construction across the globe, Jinan Daily reported Monday.

One of the projects is the Haiyang nuclear power plant in Shandong Province. Construction of the project officially started Monday and its first nuclear unit will be put into operation in 2014, China National Radio (CNR) reported.

The 120 billion yuan ($17 billion) project is the second in China that uses advanced AP1000 technology, or the third-generation reactor designed by US-based Westinghouse Electric Co. The first application is Sanmen project in Zhejiang Province.

Once all the eight power units go into operation in 2020, they will have the capacity of the output of the Three Gorges Dam project in 2008.

Besides, the project can help China reduce green house gas emission per GDP because it emits 50 million tons less of green house gas compared with thermal power plants of the same scale, the report said.

Nuclear power is important to China especially in coastal areas where there's a high demand for power to fuel rapid economic growth, the World Nuclear Association said.

The association said China should achieve self-sufficiency in nuclear reactor design and construction in order to enhance the proportion of nucle-ar power in the whole power structure.

An earlier report by China Energy News quoted Zhang Huazhu, director general of China Nuclear Energy Association, as saying factors such as the lack of talent might affect the development of nuclear plants in China.

"There is a shortage of mature technicians in this field and this shortage may last for five to six years," said Zhang.

There are four tertiary education institutions offering related training, including Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Xi'an Jiao Tong University and Harbin Engineering University.

Getting sufficient uranium ore is another challenge facing Chinese nuclear power development.

China demand for uranium ore will be 10 times greater by 2030, the second in the world, as a result of rapid expansion of nuclear power projects, Reuters reported December 10.

But Director Zhang and Pan Zhiqiang, an official from China Nuclear Engineering Group Corporation, said the demand for uranium ore should not effect the nation's nuclear power development.

China's power was produced by fossil fuels, of which 80 percent come from coal, 2 percent from oil and 1 percent from gas, the World Nuclear Association said in 2006.

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