China, which now has 47 nuclear power plants and 11 more in the pipeline, is moving closer to its ambition to produce 58 Gigawatts (GW) nuclear power by next year. After the operationalisation of 11 more nuclear power units with a capacity of 10.8 GW it will join France to share the second position with 58 N power units.
“Eleven more nuclear plants are currently under construction, according to an official white paper on “Nuclear Safety in China,” released here on Tuesday.
Currently, with 99 reactors, the US has the highest number of nuclear power plants in the world. China is making rapid strides in nuclear power expansion building 16 more high power reactors since 2016. Besides massive expansion at home, China is also building nuclear power plants abroad.
China has helped Pakistan in establishing several nuclear power plants. It is currently building two 1,100 MW reactors in Karachi with USD 6.5 billion assistance.
In its 13th Five-Year Plan, published in 2016, China planned to raise its installed nuclear capacity to 58 GW by 2020, with plans for another 30 GW.
Seventy-two universities in China are running programs on nuclear engineering, of which 47 had separate schools on nuclear science, enrolling some 3,000 undergraduates in nuclear engineering each year to meet the growing man power demand, the paper said.
China took the lead in the construction and operation of the GW-class pressurised water reactor, AP1000, using advanced passive safety systems, and the European advanced pressurised water reactor, EPR, the white paper said.
The Hualong-1 nuclear reactor, a product of independent research and development, ranks among the highest in the world in terms of safety design, it said.
Construction of the demonstration project is being carried out in accordance with the highest quality standards, making the Hualong-1 a highlight of China’s “going global” strategy, it said.
“In 2018, China led the world with 12 operating units achieving full marks in World Association of Nuclear Operators composite index,” it said.
“We have implemented the strategy of a closed nuclear fuel cycle and gradually established a complete nuclear fuel cycle system, including uranium mining and metallurgy, uranium conversion, uranium enrichment, processing of nuclear fuel elements, spent fuel reprocessing, and treatment and disposal of radioactive waste,” it said.
As of June 2019, 142,607 radioactive sources and 181,293 radiation-emitting devices were in use in China, and a total of 73,070 units were engaged in the production, sale and use of radioisotopes and radiation-emitting devices, it said.
The annual incidence of radiation accidents from radioactive sources has continued to decline, from 6.2 per 10,000 sources in the 1990s to less than 1.0 per 10,000 sources at present, the lowest level in history, it said.
China and the United States have established an annual dialogue mechanism on nuclear safety, a Nuclear Security Centre of Excellence, and the China Customs Radiation Detection Training Centre, it said.
Source: ET EnergyWorld