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China to triple nuclear power capacity
Updated: 2004-11-07 10:45

China's nuclear power generation capacity will triple to account for 4 percent of its total power output by 2020, General Manager of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) Kang Rixin said in East China's Shanghai Municipality Friday.

At a sideline forum of the 2004 World Engineers' Convention ( WEC), Kang said China's power shortage makes it necessary to rapidly develop nuclear power plants in the first two decades of this century.

The state has already listed the nuclear power industry as a priority in its high technology research and development plan and called for the industry to grow at an annual rate of 15 percent in the coming five years, Kang said.

China now has eight commercial nuclear power stations, either in operation, under construction, or soon to be built. Among their 19 reactors, nine are in operation, two are under construction, and four China-designed ones and as many imported ones will soon be built.

By the end of 2003, Kang said, nuclear energy accounted for 1.6 percent of the country's total power generation capacity. In 2003 the nuclear power plants generated 43.7 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, or 2.3 percent of the country's total power output.

With efforts in the past several decades, China has built a complete nuclear fuel system from resources exploitation to disposal of used fuel rods.

In the 1990s China rapidly expanded its applied nuclear technologies to be used in industry, agriculture and medicine. More than 300 domestic enterprises specilize in developing such technologies. Their annual output was valued at 40 billion yuan in 2003, or roughly 0.4 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

In the coming 15 years, Kang said, CNNC would try all out to upgrade research and development capability in nuclear technologies and create three to five brand names.

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