China to construct 10 nuclear reactors using 'AP1000' third-generation technology


China, which is currently building the largest number of nuclear power stations worldwide, is expected to use one of the most advanced technologies 'AP1000' for constructing 10 of its nuclear reactors.

According to the China Daily, AP1000 is a third-generation nuclear system derived from US-based nuclear power company Westinghouse. Compared with other reactors already in use in China, those using the third-generation technology are considered to be safer and able to operate longer.

According to the officials, the AP1000 technology will be used on six reactors at three inland nuclear plants in Hunan, Hubei and Jiangxi provinces, the country's first batch of inland nuclear power projects.

AP1000 will also be applied for two pairs of reactors, one in Sanmen in coastal Zhejiang province, and the other in Haiyang, Shandong province.

"Future inland projects are also set to use the same technology and Chinese authorities are considering the AP1000 as a standard, the technology will upgrade China's nuclear power industry, which is seeing its fastest development now," the paper quoted an official, as saying.

Analysts have said that the plan to use advanced technology for more nuclear reactors is in line with the rapid development of the country's nuclear power sector.

"The country's nuclear power industry has seen accelerated growth since 2005, as it fits well with the country's objective to build an environmentally friendly economy," Lin Boqiang, a professor at Xiamen University said.

The report has revealed that as the world's second-largest energy consumer, China now has 11 nuclear power reactors in operation. These reactors have a total capacity of 9.1 gigawatts (gW), accounting for about 1 percent of the country's total power capacity.

"The move to further develop nuclear power is integral for China to achieve its goals in energy conservation and emission control," the paper quoted Li Junfeng, deputy director-general of the Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, as saying.

However, the security of nuclear plants has been a source of public concern recently. Last month, the Hong Kong media reported a radiation leak at the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant on May 23, the paper said.

Although the official initially denied any such incident, the company later admitted that a fuel rod at the plant experienced a 'very small leakage', leading to a slight increase in radioactivity levels in cooling water for the Unit 2 nuclear reactor, it added.

China is currently building 23 nuclear power units. The proportion of nuclear power is expected to account for 15 percent of the country's total power capacity in 2050.

Source: ANI