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China's nuclear power technology approaches advanced world renowned level
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15:46, March 26, 2009

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Combining independent innovation with importing, digesting and absorbing of advanced foreign nuclear power technology, China's nuclear power technology now possesses research and development capabilities approaching advanced world renowned levels. While the construction, operation and management of China's nuclear power stations have already reached advanced levels. In addition, the capacity to manufacture nuclear power equipment has been increasingly raised, and self-reliance in equipment manufacturing has been continuously strengthened. Nuclear power has made important contributions to adjusting China's energy structure, ensuring energy security and environmental protection.

According to Sun Qin, Deputy Director of China's National Energy Administration, in the early days of reform and opening-up, China made a strategic decision to independently design and build the Qinshan 300-megawatt pressurized water reactor nuclear power station and construct the Daya Bay 1000-megawatt pressurized water reactor nuclear power station with imported technologies. After the Qinshan Nuclear Power Station and the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station were established and put into operation in 1991 and 1994, respectively, China gradually developed the second-phase project of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Station, the Ling'ao Nuclear Power Station. Then there was the third-phase of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Station project and the Tianwan Nuclear Power Station, therefore forming three nuclear power bases at Qinshan in Zhejiang Province, Daya Bay in Guangdong Province and Tianwan in Jiangsu Province. To date, 11 nuclear power units are already in service in China, with a total installed capacity of 9.1 million kilowatts. In 2008, installed nuclear power capacity accounted for 1.3 percent of China's total installed power capacity, and annual nuclear power output reached 68.394 billion kilowatt-hours, accounting for around 2 percent of China's total power output.

China already possesses the capabilities to independently design 300-600 megawatt pressurized water reactor nuclear power stations, and has the basic ability to design second-generation 1000-megawatt nuclear power stations. China has also engineering design abilities for independent large-scale constructions. The proportion of Chinese-made equipment in 600 megawatt and 1000 megawatt nuclear power stations is over 70 percent.

Kang Rixin, President of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said that since China's nuclear power stations were put into operation, nuclear power output and the amount of power transmitted to power grids has increased at a steady rate, and their operating performances and management standards have reached advanced levels renowned worldwide. In 2008, CNNC generated 37.6 billion kilowatt-hours of nuclear power, equivalent to reducing over 37 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and over 200,000 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions that year. Environmental monitoring shows that the radiation levels in areas surrounding the nuclear power plants still maintain the same environmental levels measured before construction of the plants.

Entering the new century, China has made strategic adjustments to the development of its nuclear industry. By 2020, China's installed capacity of nuclear power in operation will exceed 40 million kilowatts, accounting for 5 percent of China's total installed power capacity. Moreover, with nearly 30 years of development and construction, China basically possesses the capabilities to "develop nuclear power through China-foreign cooperation while focusing on self-reliance." With the construction of third-generation nuclear power stations represented by the construction of the Sanmen Nuclear Power Station in Zhejiang and the Haiyang Nuclear Power Station in Shandong, the springtime of China's nuclear power industry has come.

By People's Daily Online


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