China targets 20% growth in installed nuke power capacity

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China's plan to raise its installed nuclear power capacity by 20 percent this year shows that the country is developing nuclear power in a safe and efficient way.

In 2013, 3.24 gigawatts of nuclear power will be added to the country's existing capacity, according to a report on national economic and social progress by the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner.

The planned installation indicates that China is making greater efforts to develop nuclear power in a safe and efficient way, said He Yu, chairman of the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group.

According to a government white paper on energy released in October, China had 15 nuclear power generating units in operation, with a total installed capacity of 12.54GW.

He said China has another 30 units currently under construction, which will add an extra 32.81GW.

China will have the third-largest number of nuclear power generating units in operation in the world by 2020, after the United States and France, according to He.

When the installed capacity of the units amounts to 58GW by 2020, it will account for less than 4 percent of China's total power generating capacity, compared with more than 50 percent in France at present, He said.

The October white paper stated that nuclear power accounts for just 1.8 percent of China's total power output, far below the global average of 14 percent.

China's nuclear power development came to a halt after the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan in March 2011.

China suspended approvals for new nuclear plants and carried out a nationwide safety review after the crisis. The approvals were cautiously resumed in October.

Authorities have vowed not to build any nuclear power plants in inland regions during the 2011-2015 period, and they have demanded that the world's strictest safety requirements be applied to new plants.

Luo Qi, director of the China Nuclear Power Research Institute, said China has made substantial progress in raising safety standards for nuclear power plants in operation and for those that have been domestically designed.

Luo said China has actively accelerated the development of its ACPR1000 nuclear power technology, which features all Chinese-owned intellectual properties. It has met the world's most advanced technical standards for nuclear power development.

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