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Chinese Nuclear Program Reopens

Goal of 30% Power from Green Technology

Written by Swagato Chakravorty
Posted January 9, 2013

China’s Huaneng Shandong Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Co. has begun construction on China’s first new nuclear plant after Beijing resumed nuclear development some two years after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

The new facility, expected to come online by the end of 2017, is situated in Rongcheng and will showcase a range of Chinese-developed safety protocols.

China, of course, is pressing ahead with its ambitions to develop a massive nuclear power infrastructure—a policy that goes against recent trends in countries like Japan and Germany.

For China, the world’s largest energy consumer, nuclear power represents a viable solution to the problem of expanding demand for fossil fuels.

Beijing temporarily shut down nuclear power development shortly after the Fukushima incident and only stated that it would sparingly allow new projects to move forward last October. These projects would be located in coastal areas – like Rongcheng, on the east coast – and would be subject to intensive safety regulations.

Per the Huffington Post, the facility under development represents an investment of $475 million and will generate 200 MW when complete. The facility will also be part of a larger project to be developed over 20 years, expected to have an installed capacity of 6.6 GW and costing about $15.9 billion altogether.

Back in October, the Chinese government stated that it hopes by 30 percent of national power needs will be generated from solar, wind, nuclear, and other green technologies.

Presently, China has 15 operating reactors generating about 12.5 GW, and 26 more reactors are being built, adding 30 GW overall. Nuclear currently accounts for 1.8 percent of national power needs.  

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