Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 06:59PM
China, the world’s second-biggest energy user, approved the construction of 28 more nuclear power reactors under a revised target for 2020 to meet rising demand for clean energy and accelerate development of the industry, according to Bloomberg.
Each of the one-gigawatt reactors will cost as much as 14 billion yuan ($2.1 billion), Mu Zhanying, general manager of the state-run China Nuclear Engineering Group, said in an interview in Beijing today. One gigawatt is enough to power 800,000 average U.S. homes.
Under the original plan announced in 2005, China was to spend 400 billion yuan to add 40 gigawatts of nuclear capacity by 2020 to help reduce reliance on more polluting coal and oil. The capacity will exceed 70 gigawatts by then under the revised plan, Wang Binghua, chairman of the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp., said on March 20.
“China will be the world’s nuclear industry leader in terms of technology and also in terms of planning for long term 30, 40 years,” Tony De Vuono, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., said in a separate interview in Beijing. “It’s pretty close to that right now. The Chinese government is very committed to nuclear.”
Construction of 20 of the 28 reactors has already begun, Sun Youqi, vice president of China National Nuclear Corp., said at an industry exhibition in the Chinese capital today. It would take 50 months to build one reactor, according to Mu.
The country currently has 9 gigawatts of nuclear capacity in operation, the China Electricity Council said on Aug. 14. Details of the government’s revised plan will be announced this year, China National Nuclear’s President Sun Qin said on March 5.
Interesting to note that they can build a reactor in 50 months or just over 4 years when it takes between 8 and 10 years to build one in the west. I guess we can expect to them to compete with your local nuclear power plant builder some time soon.
Have a good one.
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