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December 3, 2010
Nuclear Townhall
From the Editors


Any lingering doubts that China will be basing its industrial economy on nuclear energy were erased this week when the country raises its goals to building 114 gigawatts of capacity by 2020.

“The figures released by the National Development & Reform Commission represent a significant increase from a prior target of 70 GW issued last May by Zhang Guobao, head of China’s National Energy Administration,” reports Power-Gen Worldwide. The 114 GW goal marks a jump of 62 percent. 

The 114 GW would give China the largest nuclear capacity in the world, surpassing our 107 MW, presuming we don’t build any new capacity by 2020, which isn’t a bad bet. Still, China’s nuclear will only be supplying 7 percent of its energy demands, which shows how rapidly their economy will be growing as well.  The U.S.’s 107 GW provides 20 percent of the country’s domestic electricity by comparison.

With 30 reactors under construction right now, China seems prepared to make the leap. The Chinese have now apparently reverse-engineered by Areva’s 900 MW reactor and Westinghouse’s AP1000. Last week Zhang Shanjing, president of China’s Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation, announced that the company plans to export the CPR-1000, its version of Areva-900, by 2013. Once it markets its version of the AP1000, China is likely to become the world’s largest exporter of reactors as well. The Chinese are building  “Nuclear City” at Haiyan in order to facilitate all this.

Quipped one longtime nuclear energy market observer:  “Not bad for a country that was considered “Third World” only a few decades ago.”

Read more at Power Gen World-Wide

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