China's self-innovated fourth generation nuclear technologies, have come a long way from the first generation nuclear plants of the mid 90s. Yin Hang reports o what China has planned for the future.
The first generation of the nuclear power plants were built in the 1950s and 1960s. The second generation followed, with construction in the 1980s.
Based on its own designs, China integrated technologies imported from France to make its nuclear power usage more secure. At present, China has 11 working reactors with 9.07 gigawatts of total capacity. They include the Zhejiang based Qinshan phase one, phase two and phase three as well as the Guangdong based Daya Bay nuclear plants. All are second generation technologies.
Sun Qin, General Manager of China National Nuclear Corporation said "Over 80 percent of China's nuclear reactors are the advanced second-generation. With more efforts paid on updating our technologies, the portion of the advanced second generation reactors will reach 90 percent soon."
The AP 1000 technology is a third generation nuclear system, derived from US-based nuclear power company. Compared with other reactors already in use in China, those using the third generation technology are considered to be safer with longer operation.
The under-constructed Sanmen nuclear plant in Zhejiang Province will open in 2015. It will then be the first third generation nuclear plant in the world.
The development of the fourth generation nuclear plants are completely based on China's self innovated technologies. The fourth generation nuclear plants will feature a safer and more efficient way of developing energy, which could greatly minimize risks.
China says it wants to raise its capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2020, over 5 percent of its total installed capacity, or enough to power Spain.