World News

China to build 6-8 nuclear reactors a year from 2020-2025 - report

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will build six to eight nuclear reactors a year between 2020 and 2025 and raise total capacity to 70 gigawatts (GW), up 43.5% compared to the end of May, the official China Daily said on Thursday, citing the country’s nuclear association.

The China Nuclear Energy Association said the country’s total installed nuclear capacity is expected to stand at 52 GW by the end of 2020, falling short of a 58 GW target.

But it would soon get back on track and could bring total capacity either in operation or under construction to around 200 GW by 2035, the association was quoted as saying.

China’s nuclear energy ambitions have been held back by delays on major projects involving previously untested technology, as well as a four-year moratorium on new approvals following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.

Government officials said in April the nuclear industry would not be affected by the coronavirus outbreak, but no new reactors have been given the go-ahead this year. Six were approved in 2019.

China’s nuclear capacity stood at 48.8 GW at end-May, accounting for 2.5% of its total generation capacity, according to figures from the National Energy Administration.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Tom Hogue