110 nuclear reactors to be operational by 2030

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Nuclear reactors under construction in Sanmen, Zhejiang province.[Photo/Xinhua]

China will have 110 operational nuclear reactors by 2030, making it one of the largest nuclear energy users in the world by then, a leading power plant builder said on Thursday.

Power Construction Corp of China Ltd, also known as PowerChina, said that the total scale of nuclear power generation from reactors both under construction and in operation in the country will reach 88 gigawatts by the end of 2020, according to estimates in the draft 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) for the power industry.

According to the draft plan, China will set aside 500 billion yuan ($78 billion) for setting up nuclear power plants using its homegrown nuclear technologies and add six to eight nuclear reactors every year from 2016 for the next five years.

Though it is only a draft proposal, it will "set the tone during the annual legislative and political advisory sessions in 2016", the State-owned firm said.

During the first nine months of this year, the listed firm saw its revenue rise 24.7 percent to 145 billion yuan from the same period a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing.

The Beijing-based company, founded in 2011, provides services including planning, investigation, design and construction to a wide range of sectors of the industry like hydropower, thermal power and nuclear.

It claims to have built about one-third of the nuclear reactors that are currently operating in China.

The company's claims come at a time when China is embarking on a clean energy drive to reduce emissions, with nuclear being one of the major beneficiaries.

At the same time, China is also looking to popularize its homegrown pressurized-water nuclear technology known as Hualong One both at home and abroad.

In May, work on a pilot project involving Hualong One started in Fuqing, Fujian province, indicating that China is ready to export its nuclear technologies, experts said.

Sun Qin, chairman of China National Nuclear Corp, said the third-generation nuclear technology meets the highest requirements for global safety standards and has a competitive edge over others in terms of economic performance and reliability.

Chinese nuclear companies are already making huge inroads in global nuclear markets such as the United Kingdom, Argentina and Kenya.

CNNC has clinched deals with Argentina to build two nuclear reactors-one using heavy-water technology developed by Canada's Candu Inc with an estimated cost of about $6 billion and the other possibly using the Hualong One technology.

There are 22 nuclear reactors in operation and 26 under construction in China, according to the National Energy Administration.

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