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China expands Nuke plans

China’s largest nuclear power company, which revealed plans to build a one-gigawatt nuclear power plant in Pakistan on Monday, has set targets to invest $117.6 billion in nuclear projects by 2020.

world Updated: Sep 21, 2010 23:46 IST
HT Correspondent

China’s largest nuclear power company, which revealed plans to build a one-gigawatt nuclear power plant in Pakistan on Monday, has set targets to invest $117.6 billion in nuclear projects by 2020.

The investment was disclosed to the state media on Tuesday. An official of the state-run China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) told China Daily the firm would also look overseas for uranium resources to feed the firm’s current construction of 10 nuclear reactors and 12 approved reactors. CNNC plans to list its subsidiary, CNNC Nuclear Power Company, to fund the expansion.

“We plan to rope in strategic investors,’’ Chen Hua, assistant president of CNNC, said.

China and India both depend on coal-fired power plants to supply at least 70 per cent of their power requirements. Nuclear power in China accounts for only 1 per cent of total energy capacity, but that’s changing with the world’s largest number of nuclear power projects underway to meet China’s official targets to achieve 15 per cent power from renewable energy by 2020.

China has 11 nuclear power reactors with a capacity of 9.1 gigawatts — twice that of India’s nuclear power capacity of 4.5 gigawatts. The newspaper said China plans to expand nuclear power capacity seven or eightfold from a previous target of 40 GW to 70-80 GW by 2020. India, in contrast, has plans for 20 GW nuclear power capacity by 2020.

CNNC is completing a second civilian nuclear reactor in Pakistan’s Chashma and plans to build two more. A news report quoted CNNC vice president Qiu Jiangang saying that ‘both sides are in discussions over CNNC exporting a one-gigawatt nuclear plant to Pakistan’. China’s civilian nuclear investments in Pakistan have raised strategic concerns in the US and India.

China's foreign ministry says the Sino-Pak civilian nuclear cooperation is for peaceful purposes and that China has kept the International Atomic Energy Agency informed about it.