China looks on the verge of a major expansion of nuclear power as a moratorium on new projects is lifted, according to energy experts GlobalData.
To sustain its rapid industrialisation, while reducing emissions, China appears to be planning a major investment in new nuclear capacity.
The latest research from the organisation estimates that China’s nuclear output will increase from 87 TWh in 2011 to 470 TWh by 2020, taking the country ahead of traditionally nuclear-dependent nations like France.
China currently has 15 nuclear reactors in operation, but has 27 under construction and a further 160 in planning and proposal stages. With the lifting of its moratorium on new nuclear power plants, which was brought in immediately following the Fukushima crisis in Japan, these can now move ahead.
“The Chinese government is going full steam with its nuclear power commitments,” says Jennifer Santos, power consultant at GlobalData. “This commitment to ramp-up its nuclear power capacity will bring China closer to achieving its environmental goals.”
According to Reuters, the Chinese government wants all new reactors to use ‘third-generation’ technology that meets the highest international safety standards.
By 2020, China’s nuclear output will make up around half of the total from the entire Asia-Pacific region and second only to the world’s number one nuclear energy generator the US, which is expected to reach 988 TWh by the end of the decade.
Despite the opting out of a number of European nations from nuclear power, the region as a whole will still remain a leader in the field with an estimated output of 1277 TWh by 2020.
For further information:
Future of nuclear power in Japan still in confusion (20-Sept)
Japan to phase out nuclear power by 2040 (17-Sept)
China reportedly eyeing up UK nuclear market (8-May)
Belgium could join other European nations scrapping nuclear power (1-Nov 2011)
26 October 2012