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Beijing Will Accelerate Its Nuclear Builds, Using Its Own Technology

April 2, 2019 (EIRNS)—After a three-year freeze in the approval to construct new nuclear power plants, following safety reviews in the wake of the 2011 tsunami-caused nuclear accident in Japan, China will quicken the pace of plant construction, mainly by using its indigenous technology. The aim is to avoid the delays and cost increases that have characterized the nuclear plants China has imported.

A review of the nuclear power situation and goals came out this week at the China Nuclear Energy Sustainable Development Forum taking place in Beijing.

China’s plan has been to have 58 GW of nuclear capacity online by 2020. Due to the three-year hiatus, it will come up short by just 5 GW. But construction will be accelerated, to meet the goal of 137 GW by 2030, and 200 GW by 2035. At the present time, the U.S. has just under 100 GW of nuclear generating capacity.

During the China Nuclear Energy Sustainable Development Forum, Chen Hua, CEO of China National Nuclear Power company explained that China’s Hualong One reactors will be faster to build and easier to maintain than foreign designs because it will be made at home. One factor that has created delays, is the diminished state of the nuclear supply chain, due to lack of capital investment, especially in the United States.

For example, construction on the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor at the Sanmen site has been suspended after a problem arose in a coolant system pump. As the part was still under warranty, there will be no added cost, but the delay will add up to eight months.

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