China to expand use of nuclear power
Updated: 2006-02-21 21:19
China's reliance on nuclear energy is bound to grow, with new atomic power
plants likely even in inland areas, industry experts said Tuesday, stressing
Beijing's keenness to develop competitive technologies of its own.
China has announced plans to add 40 new nuclear generators by 2020, raising
the share of electricity generated by atomic power to 6 percent of the total
from the current 2 percent.
The aim is to reduce reliance on heavily polluting coal, which is used to
generate two-thirds of China's electricity. Most of the nuclear facilities
planned so far are expansions of existing facilities or new projects in eastern
and southern coastal areas, where coal is relatively expensive.
But northern and inland provinces are also eager to develop nuclear power,
Shen Wenquan, deputy chief of the science and technology committee of China
National Nuclear Power Corp., told a conference in Shanghai.
"Nuclear power development is a must for China, especially in coastal areas,"
"In the hinterland, Sichuan has also proposed a project and we have rendered
our full support to that," he added. "I think there will be a necessary
transition of plants from the coasts to the inland areas of China."
Possible projects have been announced for Fujian, in the southeast, and
Shandong, to the north of Shanghai. In the northeastern province of Liaoning,
planners expect to build up to six nuclear generators, Shen said.