Nuclear Power

19 Apr 2021

China's Nuclear Power Safety a Global Benchmark, Says Expert

19 Apr 2021  by China Daily   

China's safety standard for nuclear power reflects the world's highest nuclear norm, said a senior academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

File photo shows the installation site of the ZH-65 steam generator in the city of Fuqing, Southeast China's Fujian province. [Photo/Xinhua]

The country's self-developed third-generation technology can substantially reduce the risk of radioactive leakage to prevent the long-term effect for the ecology, environment and the public, said Ye Qizhen of the Chinese Academy of Engineering during the 14th China International Exhibition on Nuclear Power Industry 2021 held in Beijing on Wednesday.

Ye's comment came after the Japanese government announced on Tuesday to dump Fukushima's contaminated radioactive wastewater into the sea, which is believed to put humanity's future at risk.

Analyst said China has always been prioritizing safety and security of nuclear power plant construction and operation.

"Authorities in China have a track record of being highly cautious and conservative when it comes to nuclear safety, even though in some cases this might have slowed down approvals or construction of new units," said Joseph Jacobelli, an independent energy analyst and Asia Senior Advisor at Cenfura, a smart energy services company.

China will steadily advance its nuclear power development under the premise of ensuring safety, against the backdrop that the country aims to have carbon dioxide emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, according to the China Nuclear Energy Association.

The association estimated the country's installed capacity of nuclear power in operation will reach 70 gigawatts by 2025 with that for the nuclear power under construction reaching 50 gigawatts. The figure for nuclear power in operation will reach 120 gigawatts by 2030, and the nuclear power generation will reach 8 percent of the country's total power generation.

The nuclear will also play a more significant role in the country's fight against the COVID-19 and social development, it said. According to the China Nuclear Energy Association, China has put into 20 new commercial nuclear units during the 13th five-year period with a newly added installed capacity of up to 23.45 gigawatts. Total number of commercial nuclear power units reached 48 with a total installed capacity of 49.88 gigawatts, the third-largest globally, as per the Blue Book of Nuclear Energy released on Wednesday.

The nuclear sector in China has been steadily developing even though it makes up just around 5 percent of the country's total generation, compared with 70 percent in France, 19 percent in the United States and 12 percent in Germany, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

China's nuclear sector development will continue its steady course, said Wang Yiren, chief expert of the 2021 blue book of the China Nuclear Energy Association, during the exhibition.

Power generated by nuclear plants in China over the past 10 years played a significant role in the country's energy supply and carbon emissions reduction, he said.

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