China’s nuclear energy

8 May

With China’s huge reliance on foreign energy, especially oil it seems only logically that a key energy priority should be the development of renewable energy. There is also increasing concerns over air quality, climate change and fossil fuel shortages. Therefore nuclear power is been looked into as an alternative to coal energy in China, where “most of mainland electricity is produced from fossil fuels (80% from coal, 2% from oil, 1% from gas in 2006) and hydropower (15%).” (World nuclear association, 2013)

Daojiong (2005) notes that although efforts are being made to quicken the construction of nuclear power. Only 1.4% of China’s total power supply is met by nuclear energy, whereas South Korea has managed to use nuclear energy for 40% of their electricity consumption. The ‘Bulletin of the atomic scientists’ (2013) states how from 2005 to 2011, China rapidly developed its nuclear power capacity.  In 2010 Chinese construction of reactors accounted for more than 60 percent of new reactor construction worldwide, making the Chinese nuclear industry by far the fastest-growing in the world.

However China’s rapid nuclear development slowed steadied following the tsunami and earthquake that led to Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in March 2011, the world’s worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. “Following the Fukushima Daiichi accident, China slowed its rapid expansion of nuclear power and undertook a major re-evaluation of safety practices.” (Bulletin of the atomic scientists, 2013). It seems in the near future China will becoming increasingly invested and reliant on nuclear energy, while ensuring this energy meets international and Chinese safety standards.

Daojiong, Z. (2005). China’s energy security and it’s international relations. The China and Eurasia forum Quarterly. 3 (3). 39-54

http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/features/china-moves-cautiously-ahead-nuclear-energy

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/China–Nuclear-Power/

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