Wednesday, 6 June 2012

China moves ahead with its plans for producing nuclear energy

China moves ahead with its plans for producing nuclear energy: ..." China's latest step toward relaunching its nuclear-power ambitions could play into its efforts to stimulate the country's economy, according to analysts, even as officials face a public that has demonstrated worries about nuclear safety.
China's cabinet said late last week that leaders had approved the country's 2020 nuclear-safety strategy and had completed inspection of existing nuclear reactors. The comments, while expected, offer a sign that China's leaders could soon begin the approvals process for new reactors, which was suspended in March 2011 amid public concern over nuclear safety following Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
Energy experts and the nuclear-power industry are watching for when approvals might resume or whether the government could adapt different nuclear technologies as a result of the Fukushima disaster. Economists and investors also are watching because many of them see a potential Chinese nuclear build out as a part of a package of targeted stimulus efforts undertaken by Beijing amid slowing economic growth.
"The size of China's nuclear program is too big to ignore as a tool to create jobs in a potential fiscal stimulus" if problems in the euro-zone worsen, said Guo Shou, a Barclays energy analyst, in an email.
China has 15 nuclear-power reactors in operation, with a total generating capacity of around 11.9 gigawatts, according to the World Nuclear Association. Before Fukushima, China's nuclear capacity was expected to reach 80 gigawatts by 2020. As a result of the post-Fukushima slowdown, many analysts say China's expected capacity likely will be lowered to 60 to 70 gigawatts by 2020.
China's state-owned nuclear-equipment providers could see billions of dollars in revenue when the country resumes taking on new projects, just as China's biggest nuclear companies are increasingly seeking business with governments across the developing world interested in building reactors. Analysts say Chinese companies have the advantage in producing some nuclear-reactor technology at large scale as they seek to become globally competitive and support jobs at home."
The story at WNN:

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