China is considering the construction of offshore nuclear power plants. The country will conduct a 'careful and scientific' feasibility review before it makes the decision, said Xu Dazhe, director of the China Atomic Energy Authority, at a recent press conference.
As a developing country, China has a large need of energy but is under environmental stress, he said, adding that the country must fully exploit its maritime resources, but only under 'completely safe conditions', he was anxious to stress.
Xu emphasised that China will confine itself to the safe and peaceful use of nuclear power and that the development of maritime resources in its waters will benefit people in the area. Currently China has 30 nuclear power stations units with a total capacity of 28 million GW, and another 24 units are under construction.
It is hoped that a demonstration floating nuclear power plant, based on China National Nuclear Corporation's (CNNC's) ACP100S small reactor, will be built by 2019. CNNC subsidiary the Nuclear Power Institute of China has completed a preliminary design for a floating nuclear power plant featuring the ACP100S reactor as well as 'all the scientific research work'. Construction of a demonstration unit is to start by the end of this year.
In a separate development it was announced in January by China General Nuclear (CGN) that it hoped to build a prototype offshore plant by 2020, following approval of its ACPR50S reactor design by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) as part of the 13th Five-Year Plan for innovative energy technologies.
CNNC's ACP100S reactor - a marine version of its ACP100 small modular reactor design - had also been approved by the NDRC as part of the same plan.