China Jan-Sept nuclear power generation up 23% from year ago -assn

SHANGHAI, Nov 1 (Reuters) - China’s 47 nuclear reactors generated a total of 253.5 billion kilowatt hours of power in the first three quarters of 2019, up 22.75% compared to a year earlier, the country’s nuclear industry association said.

In its third quarterly report published on Thursday, the China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA) said China’s nuclear power sector was responsible for 4.8% of China’s total electricity supply over the period, up from 4.1% in the same period of last year.

It said utilisation rates at its reactors stood at an average of 92.35% over the period, up from around 85% a year earlier.

China’s ambitious nuclear reactor programme has been held back by a slowdown in new project approvals, and it is now unlikely to meet its 2020 target to put 58 gigawatts (GW) of capacity into operation and another 30 GW into construction.

It currently has 47 reactors in commercial operation, with a total capacity of 48.75 GW. Another 13 units are under construction.

The construction of two new reactors began at Zhangzhou in Fujian province earlier this month, the first project to be given the go-ahead in around three years.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Christian Schmollinger