Background

Up until 2011, China ’s nuclear power was still very small compared with other major world powers and only -1.5% of the nation ’ s electricity was generated by nuclear power. China has 12 operating nuclear power units (Table 22.1), distributed along coastal areas. Plate V (between pages 448 and 449) shows the geographical distribution of nuclear power plants (NPPs) in China.

With current worldwide interest in nuclear power as a clean energy source and the technical development of waste management and disposal in China, nuclear is becoming a significant proportion of China ’s power generation. As of June 2010, the official nuclear capacity targets were 80 GWe by 2020, 200 GWe by 2030 and 400 GWe by 2050 (Fig. 22.1). The aim

Table 22.1 China’s operating nuclear power reactors

Plant/reactors

Location

Size (per reactor)

Reactor

Company

Operation start date

Daya-Bay (2)

Shenzhen

(GD)

940 MWe

PWR

CGNPC

1994

Qinshan I (1)

Hangzhou — bay (ZJ)

280 MWe

PWR

CNNC

1994

Qinshan II (2)

Hangzhou — bay (ZJ)

610 MWe

PWR

CNNC

2002-2004

Qinshan III (2)

Hangzhou

(ZJ)

670 MWe

PHWR

CNNC

2002-2003

Ling-Ao (2)

Guangdong

(GD)

935 MWe

PWR

CGNPC

2002-2003

Tian-wan (2)

Jiangshu

1,000 MWe

PWR

(VVER)

CNNC

2007

Ling-ao II (1) Total reactors

Guangdong

(GD)

12

1,040 MWe

PWR

CGNPC

2010-2011

image253

22.1 China’s nuclear power goals up to 2050.

is that by 2050, the nuclear electricity generated should reach around 15-25% of overall electricity generated in China, similar to other superpow­ers [1-4].

China also has 12 research reactors, 2 uranium enrichment facilities in Gansu, 3 major research facilities mainly in Beijing, and also 32 storage facilities and 2 low and intermediate level waste disposal facilities (LILW) for dealing with the waste from past military and general research reactors, as well as for covering the waste from the newly built coastal NPP. The inventory from one of the waste facilities (in Gansu Province) is given in Table 22.2 .

Table 22.2 Waste inventory from Gansu radioactive waste facility

No.

Disposal options

Origin

Volume

(m3)

Percentage of total radioactivity

1

Long-term storage

Seriously contaminated

3

70.9

equipment and spent

radioactive sources

2

Milling pond

Sludge

15

7.5

3

Mining backfilling

Contaminated

8,747

18.3

equipment and soils

4

Tailing dam

Contaminated soil

5,200

2.7

5

Drainage backfilling

Building rubbish

2,450

0.1

6

Residual

0.6

Total

16,415

100

The recent surge in nuclear power has brought much attention to China’s overall nuclear programme and the concerns are mainly in the following areas:

• social and economic impacts of nuclear energy,

• the large capital investment required,

• reactor central control systems, including plant safety, radiation protec­tion and emergency accidents, lack of qualified trained engineers and workers, lack of advanced technology,

• uranium mine resources plus management, and, in particular,

• waste management and repository resources.

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