In the face of increasing domestic demand for power, as a part of China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) work is likely to restart on inland nuclear power plants, which was stopped after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, an energy official revealed.
Wang Yiren, vice director of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, and vice-chairman of the China Atomic Energy Authority, said in an interview with China National Radio published Monday that the country has already decided where its inland nuclear reactors will be built and that construction is likely to start in the next four years.
There are around 400 nuclear power stations in the world, most of which are inland and therefore not usually affected by tsunamis, typhoons or other extreme coastal weather events. "If it is safe to build nuclear power plants in coastal areas, then it is also not a problem to build them inland," stressed Wang.
China halted all its nuclear power construction projects after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, but began construction work on several projects in eastern coastal areas in 2015. Although the resumption of the inland nuclear power projects has yet to be officially announced, at least 10 provinces have already proposed developing their own nuclear power industries.
Three inland nuclear reactors have already obtained approval from the National Development and Reform Commission and are waiting for construction work to begin. They are the Taohuajiang nuclear power plant in Central China's Hunan Province, the Xianning nuclear power plant in Central China's Hubei Province and the Pengze nuclear power plant in East China's Jiangxi Province.
According to the 13th Five-Year Plan, China's nuclear power capacity should reach 58 million kilowatts by 2020. The total capacity of the plants currently under construction will be 30 million kilowatts.
Moreover, Wang revealed that China will also develop floating nuclear power stations during the 13th Five-Year Plan and has already organized experts to conduct investigations into how this will be accomplished.
Floating power stations will aim to promote the exploitation of oil and gas resources and provide a safe and efficient power supply to remote islands in the South China Sea, said Wang.