China reportedly to start operations at 31 new nuclear plants

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-9-28 1:28:01

China's nuclear energy authorities have recently finished investigative research on 31 nuclear power plants in inland regions, indicating a commencement of operations at the nation's new reactors.

"A report based on the research has been submitted to the State Council. Once approved, it will be a signal of the beginning of the operations of new nuclear reactors," an anonymous energy expert at the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, told the Beijing-based China Times.

The research, aimed at ensuring the safety of operations, was jointly conducted by the Chinese Academy of Engineering and China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA).

China halted its nuclear power projects after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, only approving several such projects in eastern coastal areas. Although the resumption of the inland nuclear power projects has yet to be officially announced, at least 10 provinces have already proposed to develop a nuclear power industry.

According to the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), installed nuclear power capacity will reach 58 million kilowatts by 2020. The capacity of those currently under construction is 30 million kilowatts.

"It's difficult to reach that goal without new nuclear power reactors in inland regions," the expert was quoted as saying.

Three nuclear reactors in inland regions have already obtained approval from the National Development and Reform Commission and are waiting to be established. They are the Taohuajiang nuclear power plant in Hunan Province, the Xianning nuclear power plant in Hubei Province and the Pengze nuclear power plant in Jiangxi Province.

As of the end of 2013, the Taohuajiang nuclear power plant has received 4.6 billion yuan ($700 million) in investments while the other two plants attracted about 3.4 billion yuan each.

"If the nuclear power projects in inland regions restart, the three plants will be the first to start operation," an insider who requested anonymity, told the China Times. The China Times reporter learnt from a nuclear power conference that the country will focus on developing nuclear power projects along the east coastal regions, and only develop one or two projects in inland regions.

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