China is planning for an installed nuclear power capacity of 86 gigawatts (gW) by 2020, up nearly 10-fold from the 9 gW capacity it had by the end of last year, two people familiar with the matter said.
The revised target for nuclear power is part of the government's efforts to increase the share of alternative energy in the predominantly coal-based energy mix.
The goal, which is part of an alternative energy development roadmap covering 2009-20, seeks to have at least 12 gW of installed nuclear power capacity by 2011, the sources said.
The plan "will call for the government to accelerate nuclear power development in coastal provinces and autonomous regions, namely Liaoning, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangxi, Jiangsu, Shandong and Hainan," the sources said.
In order to achieve the goal, the government will also set up a "reasonable number of nuclear power plants in inland provinces in Jiangxi, Anhui, Hunan and Hubei", they said.
The target, which the people said had still not been finalized, was substantially bigger than earlier goals.
China, the world's second-largest power market, now has 11 working nuclear reactors, producing 9.1 gW as of the end of last year.
The country, which had previously planned to have 60-70 gW of nuclear power capacity by 2020, or about 5 percent of the total anticipated capacity then, had 22.9 gW of nuclear power capacity under construction as of last year.
China is now adding more than 24 reactors, which includes five plants scheduled to start construction this year.
According to the draft alternative energy development stimulus plan, the government is also planning to have 150 gW of installed wind power capacity by 2020, of which 30 gW will come from offshore wind farms, the people said.
Installed wind power capacity should reach 35 gW by the end of 2011, of which 5 gW will come from offshore wind farms, according to the draft plan.
China, which is now the fourth largest wind power producer in the world, had 12.17 gW in installed capacity as of the end of last year.
It plans to build seven huge wind farms with a minimum capacity of 10 gW each by 2020, Shi Pengfei, vice-president of Chinese Wind Energy Association, said earlier this week.
The seven bases, once completed, will have a combined capacity of around 120 gW, according to Shi.
Construction of these bases, which is spread across six provinces, would require an investment of around 1 trillion yuan, the official said.
The industry would attract investment worth 2.97 trillion yuan by 2011, creating 5 million jobs, according to the draft.
And, total investment in the sector would touch 13.5 trillion yuan and create 20 million jobs by 2020, it outlined.
China National Nuclear Corp, the biggest nuclear power operator in the country, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co Ltd and China Power Investment Corp, the parent company of the Hong Kong-listed China Power International Development Ltd, are currently the only players in the nuclear power sector.