China Wants to Build a Floating Nuclear Power Plant by 2020
China plans to develop floating nuclear power plants to ensure a stable power supply for its offshore projects and boost ocean gas exploration, Wang Yiren, vice director of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry of National Defense, said on Tuesday.
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Wang told Science and Technology Daily that China has conducted research on significant technologies and standardization of maritime nuclear power plants. The development of the floating power facility is an important part of China's five-year economic development plan, running through 2020.
China currently uses a diesel generator to supply its offshore operation and sustain the residents on the Nansha and Xisha islands. However, diesel power is not only efficient but also non-environment friendly, and the floating maritime nuclear power platform hopes to solve these issues.
"Floating power stations are less susceptible to natural disasters. In an emergency, the station could pump seawater into a boat to prevent core melting," an expert said, according to Times Now, noting that the platform is small enough that it could be easily dragged in case of maintenance.
China currently has 23 nuclear power plants in operation, and 27 others undergoing construction. Developing nuclear power is one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other major pollutants.
China's nuclear power capacity is poised to reach 58 million kilowatts by 2020, according to the plan. Once finished, the plants under construction will contribute 30 million kilowatts.
China, however, is not the first country to employ a floating nuclear plant. The US has also installed a nuclear reactor to source the electricity for the Panama Canal Zone. Big countries like the US and Russia also utilize nuclear reactors to provide electrical power for their ships.