Tuesday, February 21, 2006

China Nuclear Update

A joint energy conference between China and the European Union opened in Shanghai on Monday, and earlier today, Shen Wenquan, deputy chief of the science and technology committee of China National Nuclear Power Corp, outlined his country's long-term plans for nuclear energy:

"Nuclear power development is a must for China, especially in coastal areas," Shen said.

"In the hinterland, Sichuan has also proposed a project and we have rendered our full support to that," he added. "I think there will be a necessary transition of plants from the coasts to the inland areas of China."

Possible projects have been announced for Fujian, in the southeast, and Shandong, to the north of Shanghai. In the northeastern province of Liaoning, planners expect to build up to six nuclear generators, Shen said.

Work on an extension of the Qinshan nuclear power plant, near Shanghai, is due to begin next month, while construction of a new project at its Ling'ao nuclear plant, in southern China's Guangdong province, is scheduled to start by the end of this year, he said.

(snip)

By 2020, China hopes to build a prototype fast-breeder reactor _ a technology that produces plutonium that can be then used as fuel, reducing radioactive waste and alleviating dependence on imports of uranium.

Ultimately, though, China is placing its hopes in nuclear fusion, said Shen Rugang, vice president of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co.

"Fusion will be the final way out for the future," Shen said... "My dream is to witness within my lifetime a light bulb powered by fusion electricity," Li said.
For some of our previous posts on China, click here and here.

UPDATE: The Brothers Judd have some ideas on what Europe is really up to when it comes to energy policy.

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