China’s accelerating nuclear power build

China is looking at increasing the number of nuclear plants built by 2020.

Cao Shudong, director of system engineering with the China Atomic Energy Agency, said that although the country’s 40,000-MW nuclear capacity target only covers projects located on the eastern and southern coast, ‘from the point of view of economic development, interior provinces and regions should also get opportunities to launch nuclear projects.’

A number of sites in China’s central and western regions have made applications to the central government to build nuclear power plants, including Chongqing and Sichuan province in the southwest, and the central provinces of Hubei, Henan and Jiangxi.

One additional reactor in each of the five provinces would add about 8,000 MW to the current plan.

China has indicated the 40 GW nuclear target will be met and probably exceeded. At least another 18,000 megawatts will be under construction by that time.