China aims to operate 'super-efficient' nuclear reactor in 2010
AFP | October 5 2005
Chinese scientists aim to have a "super-efficient" nuclear reactor in 2010 that will relieve China's uranium supply problems, as part of a national plan to boost power generation, state media said Wednesday.
The first experimental reactor, set to be in operation by 2010, is 60 times more efficient than an ordinary reactor due to its ability to maximise uranium burn-up and minimise waste in electricity generation, China Daily reported.
"I hope an experimental reactor with a capacity of 200,000 kilowatts can be put into use by 2010," said Zhao Zhixiang, president of the China Academy of Atomic Science, adding that its construction was near completion.
The new generation reactors would help relieve China's uranium shortage problem as the country accelerates nuclear power plant construction, it said.
The new reactors are expected to burn 60 to 70 percent of their uranium fuel, compared with a conventional reactor which consumes only 0.7 percent of the uranium fuel.
"We will have no concern over fuel supply if such reactors are used to generate electricity commercially," Zhao told the newspaper.
China started research into fast nuclear reactor technology in 1995 and has invested 1.38 billion yuan (170 million dollars) into the construction of the experimental reactor, the report said.
Earlier reports said China plans to build 40 nuclear reactors with the capacity of 1,000 megawatts within the next 15 years to boost combined capacity from the current 8,700 megawatts to 40,000 megawatts by 2020.
China has outlined plans to increase the proportion of its electricity generated by nuclear power from the current 2.4 percent to four percent in 15 years' time.
The average proportion among countries with nuclear power plants is 17 percent.
China relies on coal for 70 percent of its energy demands, but the recent economic boom has highlighted the risks of being so overly dependent on one energy source
Last modified October 7, 2005