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UPDATED: 08:45, July 22, 2004
China builds more nuclear power plants to ease power shortage
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The Chinese State Council on Wednesday approved two nuclear power plant projects in provinces to ease power shortage.

The decision to start construction of the second-phase project of the Ling'ao Nuclear Power Plant in south China's Guangdong Province, and the first-phase project of the Sanmen Nuclear Power Plant in east China's Zhejiang Province, was made at a State Council meeting on acceleration of nuclear power station construction by mainly relying on China itself.

"Nuclear power generating is a kind of clean and safe way of power supply with mature technology and good flexibility," the meeting pointed out.

"The increase of nuclear energy's proportion in total power supply is of great importance to the development of high-tech and manufacturing industries, the economic growth, adjustment of energy supply structure, safeguarding of energy security as well as the sustainable development strategy," the meeting said.

Up to now, China has put into use or is constructing 11 nuclearpower generating units, with quite complete managerial and quick-response systems established in this regard, according to the meeting.

"But still only a small portion of the country's total power supply is provided by nuclear plants, which were constructed expensively," sources with the meeting said.

The meeting stressed that the relevant sectors should make great efforts to raise capabilities to build China's own brand nuclear power station with its own design by absorbing advanced technology from foreign countries.

Electricity generated by nuclear power accounts for only about 1.4 percent of China's total electricity supply, compared to 16 percent in developed countries, according to figures from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

There were four nuclear power plants in China by May 2004. Theyare the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant, located in Haiyan County of Zhejiang Province, Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant and Ling'ao Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong Province, and Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant that is being built in Lianyungang City of eastern Jiangsu Province.

"China is expected to obtain 4 percent of its electricity, or 32 million kilowatts, from nuclear plants by 2020," Xu Jianzhong, a researcher with the Institute of Engineering Thermophysics under the CAS said.

Chinese engineers can easily develop the 1-million-kw nuclear generating unit on the basis of the 600,000-kw one, with the introduction of necessary advanced designing software from other countries, Ye Qizhen, chief designer of the second-phase project of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant told Xinhua.

All the Chinese nuclear power plants are located in economically developed coastal provinces, where the power shortage problems are particularly serious.

Statistics show that the country's electricity demand has increased about 16 percent in the first six months of this year over the same period last year, with 757,000 power brownouts imposed and some 19.45 billion kwh in electricity lost.

Source: Xinhua

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