China’s nuclear power construction in the coming years is expected to advance steadily despite the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, insiders said.
Nuclear power will play a more significant role in China’s energy mix and will gradually replace fossil fuels on a large scale, according to a blue book recently released by the China Nuclear Energy Association on China’s nuclear development outlook.
The association estimates that China will construct six to eight reactors annually to steadily advance its nuclear development between 2020 and 2025, which will also help create more jobs.
While the nuclear energy targets set by China have been delayed, the nation is still on track to become the top global nuclear energy player over the next decade, it said.
While China previously said it would raise its total installed nuclear capacity to 58 gigawatts by 2020, up from 35.8 GW at the end of 2017?and have another 30 GW under construction by the end of 2020?the association estimates that China will miss its 58 GW target. However, the capacity is still likely to increase exponentially in the coming decade, it said.
According to the blue book, China is expected to have 51 nuclear facilities in operation by the end of 2020, with an installed capacity of 52 GW. More than 17 nuclear units will be under construction, with an installed capacity reaching 19 GW.
China is expected to have total installed capacity of 70 GW of nuclear facilities under operation by the end of 2025, and 30 GW under construction. The combined figure of installed capacity both under construction and in operation will reach 200 GW by 2035.
According to the China Nuclear Power Development Center, nuclear capacity will more than double to 130 GW by 2030, 170 GW by 2035 and 340 GW by 2050. While the Chinese energy mix will still “heavily feature coal and other fossil fuels and 130 GW of nuclear power only represents 10 percent of national power generation by then, it will have a big impact globally due to the sheer size of the nation’s energy sector.
It is believed that China will quickly rise through the ranks of the world’s top nuclear energy producers and will pass France as the world’s No 2 nuclear power generator in 2022 and claim the top spot from the United States four years after that, according to GlobalData.
(Source and image: China Daily News – CAP 1000 3rd generation CAP 1000 reactor model/Li Zhong)