China is planning to develop its own patented
technology for third generation nuclear power generating plants which could be
available before the end of the next decade, said an official with the country's
atomic energy authority Wednesday.
Zhang Fubao, vice director of the Systems Engineering Bureau under the State
Atomic Energy Authority, said Chinese experts will study current
third-generation nuclear power technology, and develop its own reactor by 2017.
"Even by that time, we may still need international cooperation," said Zhang.
The so-called "third-generation" technology is expected to be safer and more
economical than existing technology and will be used in new nuclear power plants
now being built in China.
The Chinese government wants to raise the proportion of nuclear power in the
country's total electric power output from the current 1.9 percent to four
percent by 2020. This would require the construction of new power plants with
capacity of a total of 30 million kilowatts in 15 years.
Under a framework agreement with US-based Westinghouse signed in December,
2006, China will acquire advance nuclear power technology in exchange for
purchasing four nuclear reactors from the Westinghouse.
The deal allows for technology transfers including equipment design nuclear
facilities and technical support. The first of the four reactors is expected to
begin generating power by 2013, said Zhang.