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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.
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