Nuclear Power Emerges as Key Form of Clean Energy in China

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The latest official data indicates that nuclear power is becoming an increasingly prominent form of clean energy in China.

Figures just released by the China Energy Research Society (CERS) on 4 May indicate that mainland China is currently host to 38 nuclear reactors with an installed capacity of 37 gigawatts, with another 18 under construction that are expected to have an installed capacity of 21 gigawatts.

Li Ye (李冶), chief supervisor for CERS, said that China is currently shifting from second generation to third generation nuclear power technology, as well as endeavouring to expand abroad and engage in greater international cooperation.

By 2035, he expects nuclear power to “safeguard national energy security, expedite adjustments to the energy structure and a transition to a low-carbon model, and deepen energy supply structural reforms.”

Wu Xinxiong (吴新雄), director of CERS, said that the “13th Five year Energy Development Plan” (能源发展“十三五”规划) sets the target of nuclear power rising to 4% from 2% of China’s energy mix by 2020.

According to Wu pushing for the “expansion abroad” of nuclear power will expedite upgrades to China’s equipment manufacturing sector, optimise China’s trade structure, and increase its international influence.

“Following over 30 years of development, Chinese nuclear energy is now achieving the shift from ‘catching up,’ to ‘keeping pace,’ to ‘taking the lead,” said Wu.

“China’s nuclear power sector is now comprehensively implementing the Belt and Road strategy and accelerating the pace of expansion abroad, and Chinese nuclear power development faces rare historic opportunities.”

Wu said that in future CERS will organise technical innovation research and seek to achieve breakthroughs in key technologies, in order to raise the overall strength and competitiveness of the Chinese nuclear energy sector.

CERS will also actively push for international academic exchanges in the field of nuclear energy.

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