Nuclear strides vital for goals

By Wan Zhihong (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-09-10 09:46
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Nuclear strides vital for goals

A security guard stands in front of signs displaying Chinese characters reading "nuclear power" at the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co atomic plant in Taishan, Guangdong province, on July 29. Shen Qilai / Bloomberg

Comprehensive industry chain needed to promote sector, says expert

BEIJING - China needs to build a more comprehensive industry chain to boost the development of nuclear energy, which will play an important part in the country's total energy mix.

Besides the construction and operation of nuclear plants, China also needs to pay equal attention to areas such as uranium exploration and development and nuclear waste treatment, Du Xiangwan, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told a seminar in Beijing on Thursday.

Nuclear power, which only accounts for around 1 percent of the country's total power capacity at present, is certain to see accelerated growth in the future, said Du. The figure is expected to reach 7 percent by 2020, he said.

Installed nuclear power capacity is likely to account for 16 percent of China's total capacity by 2050, and electricity generated by nuclear power plants will be 22 percent of the total power generation during the same period, Du said.

Development of nuclear energy and other renewable energies including wind, solar and biomass, will reduce China's reliance on heavy pollutants like coal. This is "in line with the country's efforts to build an energy-efficient economy", said Du.

The increased use of these clean energies will also help the nation to achieve its target of reducing carbon intensity by 2020 to 40-45 percent from the 2005 levels, he said.

Nuclear energy and other renewable energies form an integral part of China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) for the energy industry, said Li Junfeng, deputy director of Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission.

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The country is also considering a package of measures to spur the growth of these sectors, he said, without giving details.

The central government on Wednesday said more efforts are needed to develop emerging industries of strategic importance.

The statement was issued after an executive meeting of the State Council. It pinpointed as priorities the energy saving and environmental protection industries, the new generation of information technology, biology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials and new energy vehicles.

The central government will pilot the development of these industries by formulating industrial standards and creating a sound market environment, the statement said.

Li said the move will help solve the existing problems in the industries. "There are still many problems in China's new energy industries," he said.