China-Mobilizing for Nuclear
With ten operating nuclear power plants, China is now in
the midst of a nuclear power plant build-up with the aim of
adding two new power plants per year in the near term.
Although China’s largest plants to date have been imported,
its indigenous nuclear power plant program is catching up to
what is available from international vendors.
China is determined to become a major player in world
nuclear energy technology. While experimental work is ongoing
in development of its fourth-generation pebble bed hightemperature
reactor, China plans to become independent of
foreign conventional fission technology as quickly as feasible.
Speaking at a conference on nuclear technology in
Shanghai, as reported on April 24 by China Daily, Ouyang Yu
of the Chinese Academy of Sciences stated that by 2017,
China will have its first indigenously developed pressurized
water reactor in operation.
Ouyang was seconded by the head of the China Atomic
Energy Authority, Sun Qin, who stated, “By 2020, we could
basically rely on our own technology.” The nuclear technology
China develops will also be slated for export.
China’s ongoing cooperation with both the United
States and Russia in building advanced nuclear power facilities
is bearing fruit, to the advantage of all sides. The
Chinese government has approved construction of what
will become its largest-ever nuclear power plant, to be built
in Shandong province on China’s east coast. This project,
approved in May by the National Development and Reform
Commission, will use advanced technology from the U.S.
Westinghouse Electric Company, which provides thirdgeneration
million-kilowatt pressurized water reactors for
the plant, according to a Industrial Info Resources report
from Beijing May 15.
There is also progress on the large Russian-Chinese cooperation
project, the Tianwan nuclear plant in the city of
Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. On May 15, Russia’s stateowned
Atomstroyexport announced that it had completed a
100-hour test of the first power unit of the Tianwan plant and
restarted it, after it had been shut down for maintenance. The
tests showed no faults in the unit, and this clears the way for
the unit to be put into commercial operation. Tianwan features
improved Russian VVER-1000 reactors. Lianyungang, on the
Sea of China, is the Eastern Terminus of the Eurasian Land-
Bridge, that will connect via Central Asia to Rotterdam in the
Netherlands, and therefore it is a world-class strategic rail and