Following the Japan earthquake and nuclear crisis, China had suspended plans for nuclear energy until a new draft for nuclear safety was approved. There are now reports that China will launch a third generation of nuclear plants in 2013 that would be able to withstand the same level of shock as the earthquake in Japan. Reuters reports:
Construction slowed following the tsunami, to allow for design adjustments and “stricter construction requirement for endurance concerns”, the Xinhua news agency said, citing remarks by Wang Binghua, board chairman of the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) on Saturday.
The tsunami badly damaged reactors in Japan and led to questions over the safety of China’s ambitious nuclear plans. China plans to start building new capacity almost equal to Japan’s entire nuclear power sector by 2015, to reduce its dependence on coal.
Wang said an optimized construction schedule would allow the No.1 unit of the Sanmen nuclear power plant, in east China’s Zhejiang province to begin operation in 2013.
The AP1000, a water pressurized reactor, began construction in 2009, and it is the world’s first reactor that was built according to the US-based company Westinghouse’s design. The Times of India adds:
Wang also attributed the delays to Westinghouse’s design adjustments during construction and a stricter construction requirement for endurance concerns.
Simultaneously, China has rolled out its advanced 1,000-megawatt pressurised water nuclear power reactor, ACPR-1000 which could allow it to export technology to other countries, including Pakistan, without the constraints of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues.
The reactor was “independently” developed by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation, with full IPR and made its debut at the 13th China Hi-Tech Fair in southern city of Shenzhen, state-run People’s Daily reported recently.
China currently has 13 nuclear power plants with varied capacities and constructing 27 others, mostly with 1000mw capacity, made with US, French and Japanese technologies.