9 Feb (NucNet): China’s nuclear power stations operated safely in 2014 with no events above Level 1 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) and electricity generation from nuclear energy up by almost 19 percent, a report by the China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA) said.
The report said that no safety-related, environmental, radiation contamination, fire or explosion events occurred at any of the country’s commercially operational nuclear stations in 2014.
Five nuclear units in China entered commercial operation in 2014 – Fangjiashan-1, Yangjiang-1, Ningde-2, Hongyanhe-2 and Fuqing-1. All units are of the domestic Generation II CPR-1000 design.
Production of electricity from nuclear energy increased by almost 19 percent compared to 2013, the report said.
China now has 22 commercially operational units which account for about 1.5 percent of the total installed power generation capacity of the country, according to CNEA. According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 67 percent of China’s energy came from coal in 2013, and 18 percent from oil.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Pris database, China has 24 operational nuclear units delivering electrical power to the grid.
CNEA excludes from its list of 22 the China Experimental Fast Reactor, a 20-megawatt prototype reactor, and the Fangjiashan-2 nuclear unit, both of which are connected to the national grid but not commercially operational. On 2 February, Fangjiashan-2 began a final test run before it can be declared commercially operational.
The report also said China’s nuclear power stations generated 130 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity or 2.39 percent of China’s total electricity production in 2014 and avoided the burning of 42 million tonnes of standard coal, which has prevented about 110 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and 360 thousand tonnes of sulphur dioxide emissions.
China’s nuclear stations operated at an average capacity factor of 86 percent in 2014, the report said.
There are 25 nuclear reactors under construction in China. The deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Nuclear Society said on 15 January 2015 that construction of five more units will begin this year.
In January 2015, CNEA said a total of 14 gigawatts of nuclear power generation is expected to become operational in 2015 and 2016.