China set to commence operations at 31 n-plants

Beijing, Sep 28 (IANS) China’s nuclear energy authorities have recently finished investigative research on 31 nuclear power plants, indicating a possible commencement of operations at the reactors, the media reported on Monday.

“A report based on the research has been submitted to the State Council. Once approved, it will be a signal of the beginning of the operations of new nuclear reactors,” an official the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission said.

The research, aimed at ensuring the safety of operations, was jointly conducted by the Chinese Academy of Engineering and China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA), the Global Times reported.

China halted its nuclear power projects after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, only approving several such projects in eastern coastal areas.

Although the resumption of the inland nuclear power projects is yet to be officially announced, at least 10 provinces have already proposed to develop a nuclear power industry.

According to the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), installed nuclear power capacity will reach 58 million kilowatts by 2020. The capacity of those currently under construction is 30 million kilowatts.

“It’s difficult to reach that goal without new nuclear power reactors in inland regions,” the official said.

Three nuclear reactors — Taohuajiang plant in Hunan province, Xianning plant in Hubei province and Pengze plant in Jiangxi province — have already obtained approval from the National Development and Reform Commission and are waiting to start operations.

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