Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Nuclear Country Notes
China's first NPP, Qinshan 1, a 288 MWe PWR, was connected to the grid in December 1991 and began commercial operation in April 1994. Eight more NPPs (six PWRs and two PHWRs) have subsequently been installed. At end-2005, China's nuclear generating capacity stood at 6 572 MWe; with output from the nine units providing 2.0% of its electricity generation during the year.
Three more nuclear reactors (two 1 000 MWe WWERs and one 1 000 MWe PWR) were under construction at the end of 2005. One of the WWERs (Tianwan 1) was connected to the grid in May 2006; fuel loading at the other (Tianwan 2) began in March 2007.
In June 2005, the president of China National Nuclear Corporation was reported as stating that China intended to increase its nuclear generating capacity to 40 GWe (4% of total installed capacity) within 15 years. Numerous schemes for new reactors have been put forward in recent years, some of which are currently passing through the licensing process.
China is interested in developing the pebble bed reactor and is planning to cooperate with South Africa in High Temperature Reactor (HTR) demonstration projects and commercialisation. Although both countries use the same pebble bed concept as the source of heat, their planned power conversion systems differ. China's first HTR plants will incorporate indirect-cycle steam turbine systems, while the South African versions will feature direct-cycle gas turbine systems.