Beijing, China — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 28 March 2011 – China should scale back its ambitious reactor building plans in the wake of the Japanese nuclear disaster, according to the remarks of an official of the country’s power industry association published today.
China Electricity Council (CEC) vice-chairman Wei Zhaofeng said the body was recommending a lower nuclear capacity target for 2020 and a slowdown in reactor construction in interior regions, the China Business News reported here.
China had originally planned to raise total nuclear capacity to 40GW by 2020, from about
10.8 GW currently, but after the government fast-tracked the approval of dozens of new reactors, many industry officials said the target was likely to be met five years earlier.
Beijing was widely expected to announce a new 2020 target this year, with the industry expecting the original figure to be doubled. Reactor plans in China’s inland regions, including one in quake-prone Sichuan, were also anticipated.
CEC “’ an industrial body that counts the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) among its members “’ called for a new 2020 capacity target of 90GW in a report published late last year.
But Wei said the figure should be scaled back by at least 10GW, adding that China’s nuclear plants should not make up more than 3% of total national power capacity.
China has already said it would adjust and improve its plans for the nuclear sector, following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami which crippled a nuclear power complex on that country’s northeast coast.
Last Friday, the chairman of the science and technology committee of CNNC told reporters that the Chinese government should not waver in its commitment to nuclear power, adding that nuclear reactors remained much safer than coal-fired power plants.