Next five-year plan expected to include huge boost in China's nuclear power generation
Development of nuclear power in China has been on fast track, Zhao said. By end of 2010, China had 13 nuclear power plants and 10.8 million Kilowatt of production capacity. Last year alone, the central government approved 34 new nuclear power plant projects -a 36.92 million Kilowatt in capacity- of which 26, amounting to 28.71 Kilowatt, have already been initiated, accounting for around 40 percent of the world's nuclear power plants in current construction.
Self-sufficiency of nuclear power plant-related technology and equipment also enjoyed huge progresses last year. The home-grown CPR1000 nuclear power generating technology went into commercial use on several projects, lifting the percentage of home-made technology and equipment from 55 to 77 percent in plant projects. China also made itself the eighth country in the world to master the cutting edge fast-neutron reactor technology.
Such ambition and achievements also came in form of international co-operations that served as work-hand for the results. The country signed several relevant contracts with leading companies in the US, Russia, and France on nuclear supply, equipment manufacturing, research and development, project construction and operation.
China's nuclear power plant technology and equipment served great use for developing nations like Pakistan and Argentina.
However, such nuclear power aspiration did not bring apparent beneficial changes to its citizens. Electricity produced by nuclear plants only accounted for 1.8 percent last year in the country, while the average globally easily pinches the 17 percent. France, for instance, produces more than 70 percent of its electricity from nuclear power plants.
Zhao stressed that the country has as objective generating 15 percent of all its energy supply by way of non-fossil energy by 2020, and the forming of a low-carbon economy along with constructions of nuclear power plants have become the hot option in the energy sector, as wind electricity and photovoltaic power all face problems with the still-incapable power grid network.
Local governments have also included nuclear power plant construction in their Twelfth Five-Year Plans, Zhao said. Guangdong Province ranks the top with three projects on the go and six more to come in the coming five years; Hunan Province ranks second with four projects; provinces of Guangxi, Anhui, Fujian and Liaoning all have two each in plans, and other eight provinces have one project each.