China expected to begin inland NPP construction

29 September 2015

China is expected to reconsider nuclear power development in inland areas in the next five years, according to Xinhua, citing unidentified sources.

More than 10 provinces have plans for NPP projects, and 31 proposals having already passed an initial feasibility test. Nuclear power projects were frozen in face of safety concerns following the 2011 Fukushima accident in Japan, since when approval has only been given to several projects in eastern coastal areas.

The Beijing-based business daily China Times reported that the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the China Nuclear Energy Association have already launched safety checks inland sites that are planning NPPs. The results have been submitted to China's state council in written reports for final approval, which could lead to the start of construction of inland NPPs, the paper said, citing an energy expert at China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

According to the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), installed nuclear power capacity will reach 58GWe by 2020. Those currently under construction total 30GWe. "It's difficult to reach that goal without new nuclear power reactors in inland regions," the NRDC expert was quoted as saying.

Industry sources reportedly said the inland nuclear programme would begin with three possible NPP sites in Tao Hua Jiang Township (HunanProvince), Xianning City (Hubei Province) and Pengze County (Jiangxi Province). These have been approved by the NDRC and are waiting for official orders to begin construction. By the end of 2013, the Taohuajiang NPP had received CNY4.6bn ($700m) in investments and the other two plants had each attracted about CNY3.4bn.

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