China's 13th Five-Year Plan calls for construction of up to eight nuclear power plants per year through 2020 with the goal of having 110 reactors up and running by 2030, several media outlets in China are reporting.
The cost for the surge in nuclear power is estimated at $78.5 billion. The total investment, however, could be twice that figure, said Liang Haiming, an financial commentator.
The expectation is that capacity will reach 58 million kilowatts, according to the China Times. That is triple the current capacity.
About a third of all the nuclear power plants under construction are in China. Currently, 27 units are being built, while 23 are up and running.
Only 2 percent of China's electricity generation is currently derived from nuclear power, said Zhou Dadi, vice director of the China Energy Research Society. Despite the modest percentage – which compared to 19.6 percent in the United States – China is setting a course that would make it the world leader in nuclear power if measured by total generation capacity.
The United States currently has 100 reactors in operation.
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