Manufacturing orders of nuclear power industry surge, new project approval and construction expected to be sped up
Published: May 28, 2023 09:32 PM
Unit 5 and Unit 6 of the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant, in Northeast China's Liaoning Province Photo: Xinhua

Unit 5 and Unit 6 of the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant, in Northeast China's Liaoning Province Photo: Xinhua

Industry insiders are optimistic about the approval of new nuclear power projects this year, with some companies saying that orders on hand have returned to historic highs as China accelerates its move to low-carbon development.

"The industry will expand this year, as nuclear power fits China's double carbon goals as well as national strategies including clean energy and high-end equipment manufacturing," a senior executive in the sector told the

Capacity utilization is high at the production base under his management and orders have surged to the second-highest level in history, which was reached at the peak of domestic nuclear power construction before the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in 2011.

The head of a private-sector nuclear power equipment supplier said that the company has a three-year order backlog, the reported.

After the Fukushima accident, China urgently established nuclear safety planning, and improved the medium- and long-term planning of nuclear power development. A comprehensive review of nuclear power plants under construction was conducted in a bid to ensure absolute safety.

"Nuclear power plants are stable and reliable, and they offer a better choice to achieve green development. Safety is the most important prerequisite for the sector's development, so the country has adopted a prudent policy on the sector," Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Guided by the policy of developing nuclear power in a safe and orderly manner, the number of domestic nuclear power approvals in 2022 was the highest since 2009, with five new projects and a total of 10 new units approved.

Project approvals have been speeding up, and according to an analysis by the Electricity Generation Equipment Center, nuclear power equipment manufacturing enterprises got record of new orders last year and their production capacity, operating income and net profit all grew.

In a statement sent to the Global Times on Sunday, China National Nuclear Power said that in 2022, the group's total revenue reached 71.3 billion yuan ($9.1 billion), up 13.7 percent year-on-year, with net profit of 16.3 billion yuan, up 13.9 percent. 

Lin noted that the acceleration of nuclear power project approval indicates the country is striving to achieve its double carbon goal and the government is reassured about the safety of nuclear power.

After years of development, China's nuclear power has achieved a major leap in terms of technology. At present, a total of 54 nuclear power units are in commercial operation in the Chinese mainland, with a total installed capacity of 56.82 million kilowatts, ranking third in the world, only after the US and France. 

In addition, 24 nuclear power units are under construction, with a total installed capacity of about 26.81 million kilowatts, remaining at first place in the world.

Last year, 37 units in China scored full marks on the World Nuclear Power Operators Association's comprehensive index, accounting for 50 percent of the full score units in the world, read a report titled "China Nuclear Energy Development Report 2023" released by the China Nuclear Energy Association, showing that the safety performance of China's nuclear power sector is also at an advanced level globally.

The report said that by 2030, China is expected to surpass the US to have the world's largest installed nuclear power generation capacity in operation, occupying a more important position in the world nuclear power industry landscape. 

Global Times