China’s nuclear power development is embracing a period of strategic opportunity, with generating capacity expected to double in the next two decades, Economic Information Daily reported on Jan. 31, quoting the agreement at a recent nuclear investment forum.
The global nuclear power market is very large, though the overall development is still unbalanced, noted Francois Morin, Director of the World Nuclear Association (WNA).
Right now, 448 nuclear power units in 31 countries with a combined total of 400 million kW of installed capacity generate about 10 percent of gross electricity globally. Forty-five countries are actively considering the development of nuclear power, including China, Brazil, Finland, and India, said the director. The global installed capacity is expected to increase to 1,000 gW in 2050 and contribute more than 25 percent of the world’s electricity.
China is regarded as one of the main nuclear power developers. In China, 37 units have been put into commercial use as of November 2017, with another 19 units under construction. According to China’s 13th Five-Year Plan on energy development, the national installed capacity will reach 58 million kW by the end of 2020, with an additional 30 million kW under construction.
Many countries, including Germany and Switzerland, have stopped the development of nuclear technology out of safety concerns. To guarantee the safety, the Chinese government issued the nuclear safety law to regulate construction and use.
Nuclear power is the best choice to replace coal and contribute to a green, low-carbon energy system, said Xu Yuming, an expert at China Nuclear Energy Association. China will build more nuclear power units to generate more green electricity, he added.
With over 30 years’ experience, China’s nuclear power projects are “going out” to satisfy the huge demand from other countries around the world, especially those along the Belt and Road route. For example, Hualong No1, third-generation nuclear technology developed by China, has been introduced to Pakistan, and the UK is also considering adopting the technology.