Despite some highly questionable incidents with nuclear power, China plans to continue to move forward with the technology. The state-owned Power Construction Corporation of China has announced that the country will have 110 functioning nuclear reactors by the year 2030.
Based on the plan, $78 billion will be set aside in order to build nuclear power plants in China using “homegrown nuclear technologies”. For the next five years, the country plans to add between six and eight new nuclear reactors annually.
Recently, unsafe methods of nuclear chemical storage have been determined to have caused the series of massive chemical explosions at the Chinese port of Tianjin. These explosions led to the deaths of 173 people in September.
Since then, the China Ministry of Environmental Protection announced that it would conduct nuclear safety checks in order to ensure that nuclear facilities and equipment are safe and functioning properly. Still, many global energy experts find it appalling that the country wasn’t taking proper safety measures in the first place.
China currently has 30 nuclear power plants, and nuclear power accounts for about 2.4% of its electricity. By 2030, China wants 10% of its power to come from nuclear sources. China is conducting the move in an effort to reduce its reliance on coal power. As of right now, China is the single largest polluting country in the entire world.
Additionally, China will begin selling Chinese nuclear generators to other countries so that they can also produce nuclear power. China has already reached agreements with Great Britain, Romania and Argentina. This move is highly questionable, considering that China cannot even properly manage its own nuclear power plants. Now, the country is spreading its problem to the rest of the world.
Needless to say, many people are very nervous about the news. Chinese Physicist He Zuoxiu has called the plans for China to rapidly increase its number of nuclear power plants “insane”.
He opined, “The speed of building nuclear power is already very fast, it is unparalleled in the world. There is already risk for major nuclear accidents. If China builds more than 50 nuclear reactors, the risk for a major accident would be very huge."
Don’t be surprised if you hear about another major nuclear catastrophe out of China in the next few years.