China leads the world in number of nuclear power plants under construction

An aerial view of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in eastern China’s Fujian province. /APC

An aerial view of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in eastern China’s Fujian province. /APC

China continues to lead the world in the number of nuclear units under construction, according to a blue book released Wednesday by the China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA).

By the end of August, China had 53 commercial nuclear power plants with a total installed capacity of 55.59 gigawatts, while another 23 units with a total of 24.19 gigawatts were under construction.

Nuclear power accounts for about 5 percent of the country’s total electricity generation, up from 2 percent a decade ago, CNEA secretary general Zhang Tingke told China Media Group.

China has made significant progress in exporting Hualong One nuclear units with its own third-generation nuclear technology, Zhang said, adding that two Hualong One units have been commissioned in Pakistan.

The third Hualong One unit in Pakistan and relevant projects in Argentina are under construction, while the UK has also deemed it qualified for use in the country.

Nuclear power is essential for China’s transition to clean, low-carbon energy. The blue book shows that the proportion of nuclear power generation in China will continue to increase, and the application scenarios for nuclear power are also developing.

He points out that China’s nuclear power generation capacity will be increased significantly during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) and that by 2030, the proportion of non-fossil energy in nuclear energy consumption will be significantly increased. China’s primary energy will reach about 25 percent.

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