It looks as if the safety and development plan that is currentlybeing modified by Chinese regulators and planners for its nuclear industry will have its stamp of approval by June. Quoting Xu Yuming, vice secretary general of the China NuclearEnergy Association, Bloomberg News reported the state councilof China is poised to meet before the end of June to approve thenuclear plan once the proposed amendments have been incorporatedinto it. An earlier submitted plan was rejected by the state council. Theparties that drafted the plan are now making modifications to some"minor" details, Mr Xu said. The magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami thatstruck Japan in March 2011 along with its resultingdebilitating effects, which not only killed thousands of people butalso brought about a number of nuclear disasters and level 7meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima PowerPlant complex, have become not only Japan's mosthard-earned lessons but also beacons of standards for othernations, particularly China, as far as nuclear power safetyhandling is concerned. |
China, forecast by the International Energy Agency to become theworld's largest energy consumer by 2035, is on a continuousmanhunt scouting for approaches and methods to address of itselectric power shortages. Its economic growth over the past decademay have led it to become the world's second-largest economyin such short time, but the same zooming growth has put increasingstress on its electrical generation grid due to a rising urbanpopulation. Follow us In fact, prior to the Fukushima disaster, China had approved theconstruction of four nuclear reactors. But these were eventuallyordered suspended pending safety checks and the approval of thenuclear safety and development plan.
Once the plan is approved, government is seen to immediately resumethe approval of construction of new nuclear plants. To support the expected massive influx of nuclear reactorspotentially going online all at the same time, China willexpectedly need to increase its uranium imports. Two new reactors located at Hongyanhe and Ningde are expected to goonline by end of the year, Mr Xu said. The facilities resumedconstruction after a nationwide safety inspection that started inApril 2011, he added.
"China has 14 nuclear reactors operating, 27 underconstruction and many dozens more expected by 2020. That'sgrowth we haven't seen [in the nuclear power industry] sincethe 1970s," Tim Gitzel, Cameco Chief Executive, said in atrip to China in February 2012. In that trip, the governments of China and Canada renewed theirbilateral ties over a planned sale of some $3 billion uraniumyellowcake exports to the world's second-largest economy.
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