China Maps Out Its Nuclear Future

The National Energy Administration (NEA) in China said that the country would complete construction of five nuclear power plants in 2017, while starting construction on eight more and planning another eight.

China map of nuclear stationsThe NEA said in its Energy Work Guidance Opinion 2017 report that Sanmen Unit 1 and Haiyang Unit 1, both Westinghouse AP1000 models, Fuquing Unit 4 and Yangijian Unit 4, both CPR-1000 Chinese designed models and Taishan Unit 1, an EPR model, would be completed during the year.

Together, that would bump the country's nuclear generation capacity by 6.41 GWe.

While the NEA did not name the sites of the eight nuclear plant construction starts for the year, it said that preparatory work would get underway for Sanmen Units 3 and 4, Ningde Units 5 and 6, and for two additional units at Zhangzhou and Huizhou in the Fujian and Guangdong provinces, respectively.

China would continue its efforts to export Chinese nuclear plant technology and construction business and continue development of small modular reactors.

Currently, China has 36 reactors operating and 21 under construction. With the additional reactors coming online in the ensuing decades, China predicts it will have 58 GWe of nuclear generation capacity by 2020-2021 and 150-250 GWe by 2030.

Capacity is expected to meet growing demand. Per capita electricity consumption in China, listed by Index Mundi, is currently at 3,925.67 kWh per person, about a third of the 12,185.94 kWh per person consumption rate in the United States.

The United States is listed as the tenth largest per person consumer of electricity underneath Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Kuwait, Finland, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Sweden and Luxembourg. China, in contrast, is No. 69 on the list.

China, however, expect consumption to reach 5500 kWh/yr per capita by 2030 and 8,500 kWh/yr per capita by 2050. At that point, if other rankings did not change, China would be in the top 25.

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