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« Pennsylvania Senate considering nuclear energy subsidy bill | Main | Watch: Alberta advocate pushes for nuclear energy »
Wednesday
Apr032019

China Aims For Nuclear Dominance

The revival of China in economic terms can be seen as one of the greatest success stories in human history. The introduction of the country’s first Special Economic Zone in 1979 near Shenzhen led to unprecedented wealth in the decades that followed. Hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens have been lifted out of poverty, and President Xi Jinping recently announced the intention to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020. Unprecedented economic growth, however, has also created significant challenges such as pollution.

The global supply chain has developed to rely heavily upon China, with the country quickly becoming the ‘factory of the world' – a factory with a large CO2 footprint.


 In 2003 China overtook the U.S. as the top producer of greenhouse gasses, and in 2018 the Asian giant surpassed the EU and U.S. combined. Air pollution has reached unsustainable levels for the Asian giant, causing unrest in urban areas where air quality regularly breaches WHO health standards. Driven by this social pressure, Beijing has embarked on an ambitious path to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gasses.

China faces significant challenges concerning the reduction of the level of hazardous particles in the air and CO2 emissions while at the same time ensuring energy security. The country is reliant on the import of fossil fuels such as oil and gas but, significantly, not coal. The relatively low price of coal and the abundant availability within its borders has created the world’s largest market for the dirtiest of the fossil fuels. Rampant air pollution, however, is sure to improve the case for non-pollutant sources such as renewables and nuclear.

A nuclear future

Chinese consumption of electricity will roughly double from 2016 to 2040, reaching almost 3,200 GW of installed capacity. It requires a Herculean effort to maintain the ‘golden triangle’ of energy policy planning: energy security (i.e. ensuring a steady and secure supply), improved air quality, and the development of Chinese technologies. Beijing regards its nuclear sector as critical in ensuring this triangle, having already invested significantly to achieve progress.

Read more....


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