07.11.2018_No221 / News in Brief

Russia Signs Contract For Two New Reactors At Tianwan In China

Plans & Construction

7 Nov (NucNet): Russia has signed an agreement to build two new nuclear power plants at the Tianwan nuclear power station in Jiangsu province, eastern China, state nuclear corporation Rosatom said today.

The Tianwan nuclear power station in China. Photo courtesy Rosatom.

Rosatom said the contracts had been signed between its engineering division Atomstroyexport and China National Nuclear Corporation at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai.

The company gave no details of when construction is likely to start or the reactor technology that will be used. The new units will be the seventh and eighth at the Tianwan site.

There are already four Russian VVER-1000 nuclear units at Tianwan. Units 1 to 3 are in commercial operation and Unit 4 was connected to the grid last month.

Units 5 and 6 at Tianwan are both domestically developed unit of the CNP-1000 design. Both are under construction.

China has ambitious plans for commercial nuclear energy and is officially aiming for 58 GW of installed nuclear capacity by 2020 – up from almost 36 GW today.

However, the country’s nuclear sector faces a number of challenges and this target is likely to be missed, Shanghai-based energy research company Nicobar told NucNet.

Nicobar said the 58 GW will probably be reached in 2021 or 2022. Looking further ahead, China’s goal is to have 110 nuclear units in commercial operation by 2030, but this target is likely to be adjusted in the next Five-Year Plan, the first draft of which will appear in 2019.

“Based on the current roster of planned builds, 110 reactors by 2030 is technically possible but difficult from a logistical point of view,” Nicobar said. “At the moment there simply aren’t enough potential reactor sites to double the fleet in the next 12 years.”

China faces a number of challenges in meeting its new-build targets, Nicobar said. They include weak electricity demand in northern China and human resources challenges such as uncertainty over whether China can graduate and train nuclear engineers in time to meet demand.

There are also concerns about fuel security because China has relatively small uranium reserves. China, the only uranium producing country in East Asia, reported a small but steady increase in production from 1,450 tU in 2012 to 1,500 tU in 2013 and 1,550 tU in 2014 with six production centres in operation.

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David Dalton

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