China to expand nuclear power deployment in clean and safe energy

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Aerial photo taken on Aug. 31, 2020 shows a panoramic view of the Fuqing Project in Fuqing, east China’s Fujian Province. Photo: Xinhua/Guo Donghai

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Tuesday released the 14th five-year plan (2021-25) for a modern energy system, in which it sets clear targets for annual energy supply capacity while specifying measures to strengthen the country’s energy independence, including increasing nuclear power as the country becomes greener.

The latest government plan is in line with China’s long-standing commitment to carbon reduction targets, while securing energy supply amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and growing global uncertainties. , analysts said.

In a joint report issued by the NDRC and the National Energy Administration, explicit goals were set to promote the active development of nuclear power in a safe and orderly manner, aiming to achieve the installed capacity of nuclear power plants at about 70 million kilowatts by 2025.

The operation of nuclear power is stable and reliable, and the refueling cycle is long, which makes it suitable for grid base load and necessary load following, said Lin Boqiang, director of the China Research Center in energy economics at Xiamen University. the Global Times on Tuesday.

Nuclear energy can be used as a large-scale baseload energy source to replace fossil energy if safety can be ensured, Lin said.

Based on the principle of ensuring safety, the country should actively promote the construction of coastal nuclear projects, maintain a stable construction pace and rationally deploy new coastal nuclear projects, according to the report. In order to achieve this goal, measures such as promoting demonstration projects of advanced reactor types such as high-temperature gas-cooled reactors, fast reactors, small modular reactors and offshore floating reactors should be taken.

Full use of nuclear energy in areas such as clean heating, industrial heating and seawater desalination should be further promoted, the plan says.

After more than 30 years of continuous development, China’s nuclear power has achieved a major technological leap.

In January 2021, the world’s first demonstration project of China’s third-generation independent nuclear power plant Hualong One in eastern China’s Fujian Province was officially put into commercial operation, according to media reports.

The operation of Hualong One shows that China’s nuclear power technology has entered the ranks of international leaders and has become one of the important means of achieving the nation’s “dual carbon” goal.

Although China has maintained a high level of safety for the operation of nuclear power plants, nuclear power is not expected to be widely adopted as the main source of power generation to achieve carbon neutrality, Lin said, noting that the Wind and solar power will always be the drivers for achieving carbon reduction targets.

The government plan also highlighted annual production capacity targets of 4.6 billion tonnes of standard coal, 200 million tonnes of crude oil, 230 billion cubic meters of natural gas and around 3 billion kilowatts of total installed capacity for power generation in other countries. improvement of the country’s energy reserves and independence of energy supply capacity.

As the country moves towards green energy, the transformation of coal power from a primary energy source to a guaranteed and system-regulated baseload energy source that provides ancillary services must be accelerated, analysts said.


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