China To Build Six More Nuclear Reactors In Southeast

In the latest plank of the country's ambitious nuclear power program, China is set to build six nuclear reactors in the southeastern province of Fujian, state media said May 19.

State-run energy provider China National Nuclear Corporation and China Huadian Group, one of China's top five power producers, has signed an agreement to build six reactors of 1,000-megawatt capacity, China Daily reported.

Energy hungry China is trying to diversify its energy mix by pushing the use of nuclear and renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.

China's current nuclear generating capacity is 8,700 megawatts, just under 2% of total output. With the nation's largest nuclear power generator, the Tianwan plant in Jiangsu province, due to come on line by the end of this year, China's nuclear power capacity will be over 9,100 megawatts, earlier press reports said.

China's national energy strategy has set a target for the country's nuclear power generation capacity to reach 40,000 megawatts, of 4% of China's total power output, by 2020. China currently has nine nuclear reactors in operation. To reach the target, China has to build at least one nuclear power station with a capacity of 1,800 megawatts per year.

The ambitious plan is being implemented in an effort to meet rising energy demand and build up alternatives to massive coal use, which is causing serious air pollution, acid rain and killing thousands of miners.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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