China nuclear capacity rises 9% in H1 as 2 new units built - industry

SHANGHAI, July 31 (Reuters) - China’s total nuclear capacity rose 9% in the first six months of the year to 48.7 gigawatts (GW) following the completion of two new units in the southeast province of Guangdong in June, the country’s nuclear association said.

Nuclear power accounted for 4.75% of China’s total electricity output for the half-year, generating 160 billion kilowatt-hours of power, up 23% on the same period last year, the China Nuclear Energy Association said in its half-year report published on Tuesday.

The second unit of the Evolutionary Pressurised Reactor (EPR) project at Taishan and the sixth unit of the Yangjiang project were connected to the grid for the first time in late June, taking the total number of reactors to 47.

Another 12 units are under construction, but China is expected to fall short of its target of 58 GW of capacity by the end of 2020 by about 5 GW.

Beijing’s ambitious nuclear programme has been held back by delays and cost overruns at key projects, including the world’s first EPR at Taishan and the Westinghouse-designed AP1000 in Zhejiang province.

China’s energy regulators said last week that construction had started on three new nuclear power projects in the provinces of Shandong, Fujian and Guangdong, marking the end of a moratorium on new projects.

Reporting by David Stanway; editing by Richard Pullin