Nuclear Power in China

Ian Hore-Lacy
Senior Advisor, World Nuclear Advisor

5.30 for 6 pm Wednesday 21 March 2018.
Engineers Australia Harricks Auditorium, Ground Floor, 8 Thomas Street, Chatswood, NSW.

Meeting hosted by the Nuclear Engineering Panel, Engineers Australia.

Registration: EA Members & Students – Free,
Non-members – $30.

To register go to Engineers Australia


China continues to prioritise nuclear power among its multiple energy options. In 2017 there was a pause in new reactor construction starts pending the first units using Generation III technology coming on line, notably the Westinghouse AP1000. Going forward, there is competition between this stream of technology and quasi-indigenous Hualong One, based on French 900 MWe design.

Sanmen AP1000 Reactors in China (AP1000s) (Image: SNPTC)

Electricity remains heavily dependent on coal, at 73% in 2015, though its growth is being slowed. Total installed generating capacity has been increasing at nearly 10% per year since 2010 and reached 1645 GWe in 2016. In the 13th 5-year plan, by 2020 coal capacity will be limited to 1100 GWe. The nuclear target for 2020 is 58 GWe, but this will not quite be achieved. Hydro in 2020 is projected at 340 GWe, wind 210 GWe, and solar 110 GWe. There is a high level of curtailment on wind and grid-connected solar generation – up to 50% in some provinces, due to inadequate grid connections. The 13th Five-year Plan from 2016 includes spending $368 billion on smart grids, UHV grids and distribution.

China’s R&D in nuclear technologies is second to none in the world, particularly in hightemperature gas-cooled and molten salt-cooled reactors.

About Ian Hore-Lacy

Ian Hore-Lacy is Senior Advisor with the World Nuclear Association, the international trade association based in London. He joined WNA in 2001, and became Senior Research Analyst. This effectively expanded his previous role with the Uranium Information centre in Australia which he held from 1995.

His retirement role at WNA is to provide back-up for his former role providing a comprehensive, reliable and up to date array of authoritative papers on every aspect of nuclear energy, accessible on the Web: where some 160 papers on all aspects of nuclear energy are kept up to date. He works mainly in Melbourne.

Mr Hore-Lacy is a former biology teacher who joined the mining industry as an environmental scientist in 1974. He is author of Nuclear Electricity, the eleventh edition of which is being published in 2018 by the World Nuclear University as Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century. A Chinese edition has also been published.