China opens nuclear power sector to foreign investors

By Xinhua

Beijing : China has opened up its nuclear power generating sector to domestic and foreign investors.

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Companies will be allowed to invest in China's nuclear power generating projects but cannot hold a controlling stake, a senior official with the State Commission of Science and Technology for National Defence Industry said Wednesday.

China is keen to boost development of the nuclear power industry.

The country's draft nuclear energy law is being revised, Wang Yiren, head of the commission's No.2 system engineering department said.

According to China's longer-term development plan for the nuclear power industry, nuclear power capacity will increase to 40 million kw in 2020, with construction work beginning on at least three nuclear power generating units every year in the next 10 years.

Currently, there are 10 commercial nuclear power generating units operational in China, including the No.1 unit at Tianwan nuclear power station in east China's Jiangsu Province, which came on stream on May 17. Their combined installed capacity stands at eight million KW.

The other nine units include Qinshan, Dayawan, and No 2 and 3 phases of Qinshan and Ling'ao. Four units are being built as the second phase of the Ling'ao project in south China's Guangdong Province and the second phase of the Qinshan project in eastern China's Zhejiang Province.

According to Wang Yiren, China's nuclear industry generated 54.8 billion kw/h of electricity last year, less than 2 percent of the nation's total.

The government wants the nuclear industry to contribute 4 percent of the nation's energy needs by 2020.