Clean Energy

Nation still tops nuclear plant building

Updated: Apr 28, 2023 By ZHENG XIN China Daily Print
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A nuclear power plant in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. [WANG JIANMIN/FOR CHINA DAILY]

China continues to lead the world in the number of nuclear power units under construction, according to a blue paper issued by the China Nuclear Energy Association on Wednesday.

China currently has 24 nuclear units with total planned installed capacity of 26.81 gigawatts under construction, ranking tops worldwide. The country so far has 54 commercial nuclear power units in operation with a total installed capacity of 56.82 GW, ranking third worldwide. It has also maintained an excellent nuclear safety record for an extended period, ranking among the highest of all countries in terms of nuclear power safety operational indicators, it said.

An analyst said nuclear energy has always been essential for China's transition to a clean and low-carbon energy layout.

With the proportion of nuclear power generation in China set to continuously increase in the years to come and with application scenarios expanding, it is expected that generation capacity of nuclear power in China will continue to increase during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, said Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University.

China has been developing rapidly in the fields of nuclear residential and industrial heating in recent years, while stepping up the application of nuclear technology in both medicine and industry.

This will further facilitate the government's ambition to have the proportion of non-fossil energy in China's primary energy consumption reach approximately 25 percent by 2030, Lin said.

The CNEA said nuclear power output rose to 417.78 billion kilowatt-hours last year, up 2.5 percent year-on-year, accounting for 4.7 percent of the country's total electricity generation and ranking second globally.

Installed capacity for nuclear power accounts for 2.2 percent of the country's total installed power capacity, it said.

Meanwhile, China has also made important progress in the export of its homegrown Hualong One nuclear power units. A total of five Hualong One nuclear power units are at use at home and abroad, with nine under construction.

Hualong One is China's third-generation nuclear power technology with full intellectual property rights. It is one of the most widely accepted series of third-generation nuclear power reactors in the global market at present.

The level of autonomy and localization of key nuclear power equipment in China has also been steadily improving and the manufacturing capacity of nuclear power equipment has been comprehensively improved in recent years, it said.

China has approved 10 new nuclear power units since 2022, and put three into commercial operation, said the association.

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