Beijing planning to build floating nuclear power station: Official
China is planning to build a floating nuclear power station that could sail to specific locations and anchor offshore to produce power for various needs, a senior official says.
Chinese officials are making plans for a “marine floating power station,” which will go through “strict and scientific demonstration,” Xu Dazhe, the chairman of China Atomic Energy Authority, told a Wednesday press conference.
“China is devoted to building itself into a maritime power and so we will definitely make full use of ocean resources,” Xu said.
Although the use of nuclear power at sea is not uncommon – aircraft carriers and missile submarines are mostly nuclear-powered – its use for civilian purposes is relatively rare.
Earlier this month, China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced that they will build two marine nuclear power plants. The CGN plant is scheduled to start operations in 2019 and the CNNC in the following year. They would provide power for offshore oil and gas drilling platforms, both companies said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Xu said Beijing currently has 30 nuclear reactors – with a capacity of 28.3 gigawatts – in operation, adding that another 24 reactors capable of generating 26.7 gigawatts are under construction.
China froze approvals of new nuclear projects to perform a safety review a few days after Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant suffered a triple meltdown in an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
Next year, however, Beijing resumed approvals, despite a warning the same year from the Ministry of Environmental Protection that it was “not optimistic” about the country’s nuclear safety condition.