The nuclear power sector is set to expand in the next few years
as the nation tries to reach its target of 40,000 MW of capacity by
Work began on Qinshan, the nation's first nuclear power plant,
in 1985. With a 300-MW reactor, the plant went into commercial
operation in 1991.
China now has 11 nuclear reactors in operation. It's become the
third-most important energy source in the country, according to the
State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
But nuclear power accounts for less than 2 percent of the
nation's power industry. Worldwide, nuclear power accounts for
16-17 percent of the total electricity industry. In countries like
France, however, nuclear power accounts for around 80 percent of
China plans to increase nuclear power capacity to 40,000 MW by
2020, which would take the sector's share of the total industry to
All existing nuclear plants are located in the coastal
provinces, but many inland regions are also planning stations.
China is developing a third-generation of nuclear technology.
The State Nuclear Power Technology Corp was set up in May to
develop foreign third-generation technologies.
The company has registered capital of 4 billion yuan. The
central government will fund 60 percent, with the remainder held by
four large State-owned companies.
The existing 11 reactors use first- and second-generation
technologies from Russia, France and Canada. This year, an
agreement was reached to build six third-generation reactors.
China National Nuclear Corp and China Guangdong Nuclear Power
Corp are the nation's two major nuclear companies. More are
entering the field.
China Huaneng Group, the nation's largest power firm, is
building its first nuclear plant in Shandong Province. The
Shidaowan plant will have an installed capacity of 200 MW and will
use high temperature gas-cooled reactors.
(China Daily December 20, 2007)