At the end of 2013, China’s 17 operational nuclear power plants were generating about 2 percent of the country’s total energy, according to Xinhua. But Ye Qizhen, an expert in nuclear energy at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told the newswire that China should aim to get 10 percent of total energy from nuclear power.
China’s President Xi Jinping told a government meeting that development of nuclear energy should be accelerated. “By adopting top international standards and ensuring safety, China should lose no time in constructing nuclear power projects in eastern coastal regions,” Xi said, as state-run Xinhua newswire reported.
China’s total electicpower in 2020 should be about 8000 TWh. 10% power would be about 800 TWh which would equal the current US production of nuclear energy. This would be about 100 GW of nuclear reactor nameplate capacity.
China total power in 2030 should be about 12000-24000 TWh (lower if China’s GDP growth slows to about 3% per year in the 2020s and higher would be 5.5% GDP growth per year. 10% nuclear power would then be 1200-2400 TWh. This would be about 150-300 GW of nuclear reactor nameplate capacity.
If China went to 20% nuclear power (which is the amount of nuclear power that the US had in its energy mix) then in 2030 China would have 300-600 GW of nuclear reactor nameplate capacity.
At a meeting of the National Energy Commission on April 18, Premier Li Keqiang announced the introduction of new nuclear power plants along the east coast “at a proper time”.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Environmental Protection released the environmental impact statements for two new nuclear power plants, one in Guangdong Province and another in Shandong, but this is still not enough in the longer term.
“China’s nuclear power sector still has a long way to go before reaching the global average,” said Ye Qizhen of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.