China Leaps in Nuclear Power Industry

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On June 29, the world’s first EPR stationed in Taishan, a coastal county-level city in South China’s Guangdong province, was connected to national electric grid. And on June 30, the world’s first AP 1000 nuclear power plant located in Sanmen, a county under the jurisdiction of Taizhou city in Zhejiang Province, was put on production.

These two eye-catching events mark China’s evolution from a novice in nuclear energy into a technology giant. Unit one and unit two of Taishan are respectively the world’s third and fourth reactor that is built using the EPR technology. The plant is jointly operated by three companies, China General Nuclear Power Group, EDF (a French energy company), and Guangzhou based electricity company Yuedian Group, with their stake respectively 51 per cent, 30 per cent and 19 per cent.

china nuclear industry - China Leaps in Nuclear Power Industry

Hualong One reactor (also named ACC-1000) is jointly developed by China’s two nuclear giants, China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). Four units of Hualong One in operation have output over 55 million kwhs of electricity power, equivalent to about 22 million tonnes of standard coal and emission of more than 72 million tonnes of CO2. When operating at full capacity, unit one of Sanmen is able to generate 1,117 megawatts of electricity power.

Also Read: China Will Accelerate Its “Green Shift”

Responding public concerns over the safety of nuclear power plants, especially after the nightmare of Fukushima nuclear disaster some countries abandoned nuclear power, engineers with the nuclear giant said that, Hualong One had passed inspection of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2014. Of course, new reactors have to subject to strict and extensive tests before they can win global customers over by showing spectacular technological reliability. And other factors will also be taken into account when we erect a reactor for any client, geological and other natural conditions.

Hualong One technology has already been used in the Bradwell project in the United Kingdom, the first time a Chinese reactor is used in a nuclear project in a developed country. In developing countries, Pakistan is the first market that uses Hualong One reactor in its Karachi nuclear power plant. Some other also expressed interest in the technology, including, Thailand, Indonesia, Kenya, Turkey.

nuclear countries 1 - China Leaps in Nuclear Power Industry

Source:International Atomic Energy Agency

Domestically, nuclear technology is a contributor for China’s efforts in phasing out polluting fossil fuels and generating green energy, in a bid to secure green environment and sustainable economic growth. According to Chinese Nuclear Energy Association(CNEA), from Jan. to April alone, mainland has 38 nuclear power units with a total installed capacity 36.93 million kilowatts. The government plans to raise the figure to 58 GW by 2020. Under the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), nuclear power is expected to claim 8 per cent to 10 per cent of total electricity needs by year 2030. And in a broader sense, China has been dedicating its efforts to turn itself from a client in the global nuclear energy market into an exporter and play a bigger part in this regard, it is really making advancements in realizing the ambition to export independently designed reactor to the world.

 

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