Domestic and foreign companies will be allowed to invest in China's nuclear
power generating projects but cannot hold a controlling stake, a senior official
with the State Commission of Science and Technology for National Defense
Industry said on Wednesday.
is keen to boost development of the nuclear power industry.
Wang Yiren, head of the commission's No.2 system engineering department, said
China is considering opening the nuclear fuel sector to foreign investors.
The country's draft nuclear energy law is being revised, Wang added.
According to China's longer-term development plan for the nuclear power
industry, nuclear power capacity will increase to 40 million kw in 2020, with
construction work beginning on at least three nuclear power generating units in
each of the coming 10 years.
Currently, there are 10 commercial nuclear power generating units operational
in China, including the No.1 unit at Tianwan nuclear power station in east
China's Jiangsu Province, which came onstream on May 17. Their combined
installed capacity stands at eight million kw.
The other nine units included Qinshan, Dayawan, and No 2 and 3 phases of
Qinshan and Ling'ao. Four units are being built as the second phase of the
Ling'ao project in south China's Guangdong Province and the second phase of the
Qinshan project in eastern China's Zhejiang Province.
According to Wang Yiren, China's nuclear industry generated 54.8 billion kw/h
of electricity last year, less than 2 percent of the nation's total.
The government wants the nuclear industry to contribute 4 percent of the
nation's energy needs by 2020.
Wang said the Chinese government has strict controls on uranium ore
prospecting and mining but allows foreign experts to assist Chinese geological
authorities in their prospection efforts.
Wang noted uranium was mainly distributed in two huge inter-continental
metallogenic zones, which both traverse the Chinese mainland. This is
encouraging for China's chances of finding uranium.
China now has 300-plus research institutions and production firms devoted to
nuclear technology, employing approximately 50,000 people.
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