home Nuclear Attitude, Pending Reactors, U China Able to Accelerate World’s Fastest Nuclear Power Expansion

China Able to Accelerate World’s Fastest Nuclear Power Expansion

China can aim to approve as many as 10 new nuclear reactors a year to accelerate its rapid expansion of capacity, according to the chairman of one of the nation’s largest developers.

Three or four new reactors will be added to the national fleet this year to take China’s capacity to about 60.8 gigawatts, according to Lu Tiezhong, chairman of China National Nuclear Corp. That roll-out could speed up further and would benefit from policy changes to include nuclear plants in systems to trade credits for green energy production or emissions reduction efforts, he said.

“Our country has the ability and obligation to be the first in the world to recognize that nuclear energy is a green attribute,” Lu was quoted as telling China Business News in an interview. “It is possible to approve 6 to 8 or even 10 units every year, and it is very likely.”

China is building new nuclear plants at a faster rate than any other country, and could surpass capacity in the US — currently the top market — by the end of the decade, BloombergNEF analysts including Yiyi Zhou said in a Tuesday note.

Nuclear is being pushed to help meet energy security ambitions, and as low construction costs are helping make the economics of developing new reactors more attractive, according to the report.

Development of nuclear power will be pursued in a “robust, safe and orderly” manner, the National Development and Reform Commission said in an annual report Tuesday to the National People’s Congress. The country will also target “continued progress” in frontier technologies like nuclear fusion, according to the top economic planning body.

China should aim to raise nuclear capacity to about 400 gigawatts by 2060, which would lift the technology’s share of power generation to 18%, Lu said in the interview.

Developers also have growing opportunities for technology exports as nuclear advances in markets including Argentina, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he said.

Source: Bloomberg