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China opts not to approve new nuclear power unit construction in 2016

(People's Daily Online)    15:43, January 18, 2017

(Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province. Photo/China News Service)

China approved no new nuclear power unit projects in 2016, noting the nation's weak electricity consumption market. The only nuclear power unit that launched operations in 2016 was one in Fangchenggang, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which was approved at a State Council meeting in December 2015. In 2015, China approved eight nuclear power unit projects, reported Thepaper.cn.

Data from the National Energy Administration shows that electricity consumption in 2016 totaled 5.91 trillion kilowatt-hours, up 5 percent year on year. However, the growth rate before 2008 used to be double digits.

(Map of nuclear power units in China. Source:Thepaper.cn)

The total nuclear generating capacity was 31.35 million kilowatt-hours by the end of last September. Average equipment utilization time was 5,235 hours, down 290 hours from 2015. The decline was reportedly a result of a shrinking electricity consumption market, brought about by the fast growth of nuclear power plants, news site Jiemian.com stated.

As of September 2016, China has 33 nuclear power units in operation, generating about 3 percent of the nation's total electricity – far lower than the world average of 10 percent, according to Jiemian.com.

Even so, China mapped out a number of new projects in coastal regions in its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), which calls for the acceleration of nuclear power development. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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