China had at least 20 nuclear reactors under construction

China had at least 20 nuclear reactors under construction

Beijing, April28:The China Nuclear Association revealed on Thursday that China had at least 20 nuclear reactors under construction at the end of last month, with a total capacity of 23.11 gigawatts.

China also has 36 reactors in full commercial operation at the end of March, with a capacity of 34.72 GW. When combined, the two will give nearly 58 GW, consistent with the country’s aim for capacity on line by the end of the decade. But China also plans to add more 30 GW of nuclear reactors by 2020.

However, the association’s chairman Zhang Huazhu cautioned that achieving the overall goal would be challenging. Construction of nuclear reactors has slowed down after a nationwide safety review has been implemented amid the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.

Zhang said that 10 of the units are advanced third-generation reactors and include the Toshiba Corp’s Westinghouse’s AP1000. The AP1000 reactors boast of having not only a bigger generation capacity but also new integrated safety features.

The world’s first AP1000 unit is expected to enter service in the second half of this year. Zhang said the project is now on its testing phase and is in place to meet its 2017 schedule.

“The AP1000 and Hualong One currently under construction and the CAP1400 about to go into construction will be the main models of future development,” he said, noting that the reactors maturity and efficiency will be tested further while in the construction phase.

Meanwhile, the first of the two demonstrations Hualong One units being constructed in China’s Fujian province has completed its hydraulic pressure test on April 8 and is expected to start operation in 2019.

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