China is moving away from coal and towards nuclear

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China has launched the construction of a nuclear-powered steam generating unit in the Lianyungang city in eastern Jiangsu province, state-run news agency CGTN reported. The unit will be used to convert desalinated water into steam for industrial applications in the region.

Last year, China officially submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) its intention to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. This also requires the country to move away from fossil fuels in the short term. term. In the past, China has relied primarily on coal to fuel its industrial growth, and the construction of a steam-powered nuclear power plant is a strong indicator of China’s shift towards carbon-free energy sources.

Nuclear steam supply

China uses coal-fired power plants or coal-fired boilers to meet the steam needs of its industrial units. Replace a single unit of this type for the industries of Lianyungang City is expected to save nearly 400,000 tons (362,800 tons) of coal from burning and prevent the release of more than one million tons (0.97 million tons) of carbon dioxide.

Construction of the nuclear-powered steam supply project is expected to take 24 months and is committed at a cost of 730.8 million yuan ($108.4 million), which also includes the cost of constructing new steam plants. desalination, pumping stations and electricity. stations, CGTN said in its report.

The steam will be taken from the secondary circuits of the Tianwan nuclear power plant, commissioned in 2006. According to the Eurasian time, the steam will be transferred to the Lianyungang Petrochemical Industrial Base via an insulated aboveground pipeline. After passing through a multi-stage heat exchange, the steam will be used in the industrial production process.

This project will also serve as an energy demonstration plan to modernize and transform China’s petrochemical industry. Lianyungang Petrochemical Industrial Base is one of seven petrochemical industrial bases planned and built in China.

China’s push for nuclear power

Earlier this year, China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) unveiled its vision for a greener future that includes the use of nuclear power for industrial applications such as heating and desalination, Eurasian Times reported.

According to the NDRC plan, China will invest heavily in building nuclear power plants along its coasts while supporting efforts to deploy other advanced nuclear power technologies such as high-temperature gas-cooled reactors, fast reactors, small modular reactors and offshore floating reactors. In summary, the country wants to install 70 million kilowatts (7,000 MW) of nuclear capacity by 2025.

The Tianwan power plant, which will start supplying nuclear power steam, has four operational nuclear reactors supplied by Russia. Units 5 and 6 of the power plant were built locally by China and have now been operational since last year. Plant units 7 and 8 were also supplied by Russia and are currently under construction. With all units operational, the Tianwan power plant will become the world’s largest nuclear power plant with an operational capacity of 8,100 MW, Eurasian Times said.


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