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20070212 Monday February 12, 2007

China's nuclear energy plants to power up

news.xinhuanet.com :

As the world's fastest growing economy and the second largest energy consumer, China is looking more to nuclear power for a balanced mix of energy generating methods. China has become the third-biggest nuclear energy producer in Asia, after Japan and South Korea. Nuclear power has become the third important method of electricity generation in China, following coal power and hydropower.

The country's nine completed nuclear power generating units now account for about 2.3% of the total power output of China. The nation plans to increase nuclear generating capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2020, when nuclear power is projected to account for 4% of the nation's total generating capacity.

Nuclear power is a natural choice for China, Kang Rixin, general manager of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said, as it means more balanced development of both the economy and environment. China's uneven geographical distribution of resources causes some difficulties. "Coal, the main energy source in China, is mostly produced in the northern parts of the country and hydropower is mostly found in the Southwest, but power consumption is concentrated in the coastal regions in the east and south. As a clean energy, nuclear power is a good alternative for China," said Kang.

See also :

1. China : Nuclear Leap Forward
2. Asia going nuclear amid rising oil prices, global warming concerns
3. Gas to prop up output in Daqing

(2007-02-12 12:49:55 SGT) [Energy] Permalink Comments [1]

Comments:

Regarding "China's nuclear energy plants to power up" (2007-02-12), there is absolutely no need for nuclear power in China because there is a simple mature technology available that can deliver huge amounts of clean energy without any of the headaches of nuclear power.

I refer to 'concentrating solar power' (CSP), the technique of concentrating sunlight using mirrors to create heat, and then using the heat to raise steam and drive turbines and generators, just like a conventional power station. It is possible to store solar heat in melted salt or other substance so that electricity generation may continue through the night or on cloudy days. This technology has been generating electricity successfully in California since 1985 and half a million Californians currently get their electricity from this source. CSP plants are now being planned or built in many parts of the world.

CSP works best in hot deserts and, of course, these are not always nearby! But it is feasible and economic to transmit solar electricity over very long distances using highly-efficient 'HVDC' transmission lines. With transmission losses at about 3% per 1000 km, it is entirely possible to transmit solar electricity for 3000 km or more. CSP plants in the sunny north west of China could supply all of the country.

In the 'TRANS-CSP' report commissioned by the German government, it is estimated that CSP electricity, imported from North Africa and the Middle East, could become one of the cheapest sources of electricity in Europe, including the cost of transmission. A large-scale HVDC transmission grid has also been proposed by Airtricity as a means of optimising the use of wind power throughout Europe.

Further information about CSP may be found at www.trec-uk.org.uk and www.trecers.net . Copies of the TRANS-CSP report may be downloaded from www.trec-uk.org.uk/reports.htm . The many problems associated with nuclear power are summarised at www.mng.org.uk/green_house/no_nukes.htm .

Posted by Gerry Wolff on February 13, 2007 at 04:41 AM SGT #

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