Nuclear power to become foundation of China’s Electrical system

China will make nuclear energy the foundation of its power-generation system in the next 10 to 20 years, said a senior official

China will increase generation capacity by 2 billion kilowatts (kW) (2000 GW) during that period, with as much as 300 million kW (300 GW) coming from nuclear power, said Shi Lishan, deputy director of the National Energy Administration’s new-energy and renewable energy department.

China will spend about 800 billion yuan ($125 billion) annually in the next 10 to 20 years.

Research and development into making equipment for nuclear generation, the high costs of nuclear plants will decrease to between 15,000 and 20,000 yuan a kW.

China will not swerve from its goal of coming to rely more on nuclear power, said Xie Zhenhua, vice-director of the National Development and Reform Commission, on Nov 22.

According to Shanghai Securities News, Zhang Guobao, former head of the commission’s National Energy Administration, said China is likely to resume building nuclear plants in March. Zhang said the country will become the largest market for nuclear power in the world. The statement marked the first time a Chinese high official has released a schedule for the construction of nuclear plants since the country suspended approval of such projects in response to the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant brought on by the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March.

With energy consumption increasing in China, the country cannot stop the development of nuclear power, said Zhang. He added that the country has meanwhile set a goal of obtaining 15 percent of its electricity from non-fossil fuels by 2020.

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