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China Bids to Tap Nuke Power
China is looking for broader and deeper international cooperation to exploit nuclear energy resources.

According to sources at the annual Academic Meeting of the China Nuclear Society in Wuhan, Hubei Province, although China's six oper-ating nuclear power stations have a combined installed generating capacity of 8.8 million kilowatts, the amount of electricity is only 1 percent of the total power output.

However, nuclear power gene-ration accounts for 21.9 percent of the total power output in the United States, 33.4 percent in Japan and 77.4 percent in France, according to Xinhua news agency.

Experts say the global nuclear power industry has entered a new growth era and China has set the goal of expanding its installed generating capacity in nuclear power stations to 20 million kilowatts by 2010.

Sources at the meeting disclosed that the Shanghai branch of the National Nuclear Society is conduct-ing a feasibility study for a 1-million kilowatt nuclear power station, which is expected to offer opport-unities for Sino-foreign cooperation.

By 2020, nuclear power generation will account for 5 percent of China's total power output.

However, in order to reach this goal, China needs mammoth invest-ment in nuclear power production, development of utilization techno-logy and infrastructure construction.

The second-phase construction of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Station in Zhejiang Province is a good example of Sino-foreign cooper-ation, with the station maintaining China's independent nuclear power technology development even as foreign partners are involved in its construction.

In the first phase, the Qinshan station became the first nuclear power plant designed and con-structed independently by China.

In the ongoing construction of four nuclear power plants, however, technologies and equipment from France, Russia and Canada have been adopted, Xinhua said.

China has substantially improved the development and manufacturing ability of its nuclear power gene-ration equipment. The industry's objective within this century is to keep pace with international advan-ced technological standards.

With a history of more than 40 years, China's annual nuclear tech-nology utilization can yield some 15-billion yuan (US$1.8 billion) worth of output value, with a total of 300 companies and institutes involved.

(eastday.com November 26, 2001)

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