Beijing, Aug 31: The former head of the Chinese National Energy Administration has said that the expansion of Beijing’s nuclear power industry will slow down from the rapid rate of the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), but the country should avoid making drastic changes in its nuclear development policies.
“China’s nuclear industry base is still weak and we must ensure development stability and consistency,” the China Daily quoted Zhang Guobao, who also serves on the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, as saying.
He said that China will have 42 gigawatts (gW) of nuclear capacity by 2015, which is equal to three percent of total installed power capacity.
China’s State Council had announced on March 16, following the nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear complex by an earthquake-cum-tsunami, that it would suspend approvals of new nuclear power stations and order comprehensive safety inspections at all nuclear plants, including those under construction.
The inspection concluded in early August, but no information on the inspections has been released so far.
China has not approved any new projects so far this year and the industry’s development will be slower as compared with the past five years, Zhang said, adding that work on four previously approved plants, which hasn’t started yet, was also halted by the safety inspections.
Additionally, China reportedly has 27 units at some stage of construction, representing 30 gW of nuclear capacity, or 42 percent of the world’s total units under construction.
Zhang said that China should use the inevitable slowdown in construction to address weaknesses in the sector, including manufacturing capacity and technological innovation. (ANI)