China Should Control Pace of Reactor Construction, Outlook Says

China must avoid building too many nuclear power reactors too quickly, the research unit of the State Council, or Cabinet, wrote in Outlook Weekly.

The country should set a 2020 ceiling on reactors in operation at 70,000 megawatts to avoid a shortfall of fuel, equipment and qualified plant workers, the government-controlled unit said in a commentary in the weekly magazine published by the official Xinhua News Agency.

China is increasing the share of non-fossils fuels in its energy mix to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The country had 9,080 megawatts of nuclear capacity in operation as of 2009 and 21,920 megawatts under construction, the China Electricity Council says.

To lower safety risks, China should focus on developing reactors based on the third-generation AP1000 design instead of older, second-generation technology, according to the commentary. The AP 1000 reactor is manufactured by Westinghouse Electric Co., a unit of Toshiba Corp.

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