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China's nuclear power to generate 10% of total electricity by 2035

By Zheng Xin | | Updated: 2023-09-26 11:02
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Unit 3 of the Fangchenggang nuclear power plant in China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, the first Hualong One nuclear unit built in western China. [Photo provided to]

China's nuclear power generation will account for 10 percent of the country's total electricity generation by 2035, equivalent of carbon dioxide emission reduction of 920 million tons, according to the China Nuclear Energy Association.

Amid China's ambitious target of carbon neutrality by 2060, the country's installed nuclear power capacity is estimated to reach about 400 million kilowatts by then, accounting for around 18 percent of the total electricity generation, said Wang Binghua, head of the nuclear energy public communication committee of the China Nuclear Energy Association. 

Considering the comprehensive utilization of nuclear energy for purposes including heating and powering vehicles, the carbon reduction contribution of nuclear energy is expected to reach around 25 percent, he said. 

China has approved the construction of 21 nuclear power units since the beginning of the 14th Five-Year Plan period and the nuclear power project construction has also been steadily advancing, he said.

According to the association, there are so far 55 nuclear power units in operation in Chinese mainland, with a total installed capacity of about 57 million kilowatts. The country has 24 nuclear power units under construction with a total installed capacity of around 27.8 million kilowatts, leading the combined total of nuclear power units in operation and under construction in China, ranking second in the world.

As a clean, low-carbon and efficient base-load energy source, nuclear power plays an important role in the achievement of China's ambitious plan of carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. It is also an important option for China to secure the energy supply, optimize the energy mix, and achieve the goals of peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality, it said.

The State Council in a meeting held on July 31 granted approval to six new nuclear power units in Ningde, Fujian province; Shidaowan, Shandong province; and Xudapu, Liaoning province.

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