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China to make big moves on nuclear energy by 2020

Updated: Feb 15,2017 2:16 PM     chinadaily.com.cn

The 13th Five-Year Plan for nuclear energy development has been officially released with a commitment to pay more attention to it over the next five years, the Economic Daily quoted a Chinese atomic energy official as saying.

Under the plan, China will have about 88 million kilowatts of nuclear energy facilities in operation or under construction by 2020, said Wang Yiren, vice-director of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, and vice-chairman of the China Atomic Energy Authority.

China’s nuclear power stations are mainly built in southeastern coastal regions, while the nuclear fuel recycling capacities are located in western areas, which is unreasonable and needs to be optimized, Wang said.

China will prioritize the development of a floating nuclear power platform. Wang said authorities have organized expert discussions on the construction of nuclear power stations at sea, to support offshore oil and gas exploitation.

Developing new energy has become an inevitable trend to achieve sustainable development. Nuclear power, as a low-carbon energy, is an important component of the new energy sector, as well as a solid basis for energy sustainable development in the future, Wang said.

Global installed nuclear energy capacity will double and generate 17 percent of global electricity by 2050, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Energy Agency.

For China, the proportion of electricity generated by nuclear power is only 3 percent, far below the global average of 11 percent.

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