China planning to build floating nuclear power plant

BEIJING: China is planning to build a floating nuclear power station as it seeks to double its atomic capacity by 2020, a senior official said Wednesday.

Authorities are making plans for a “marine floating power station”, which will go through “strict and scientific demonstration”, said Xu Dazhe, chairman of China Atomic Energy Authority.

“China is devoted to building itself into a maritime power and so we will definitely make full use of ocean resources,” he told a press conference.

The use of nuclear power at sea is not unknown — aircraft carriers and missile submarines are often nuclear-powered — but doing so for civilian purposes appears to be unprecedented, although a Russian project is reportedly already under construction.

Beijing included the development of two marine nuclear power plants, to be built by China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) respectively, in its 13th five-year plan for 2016-2020, the two companies announced earlier this month. The CNNC plant is expected to start operation in 2019 and CGN’s the following year, according to their statements.

They could provide power for offshore oil and gas drilling platforms, island development and remote areas, both firms said.

APP/AFP

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