(Yicai Global) March 24 -- Developing nuclear power in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is in line with the region's situation, said Shi Lishan, deputy head of the National Energy Administration's nuclear unit.
"We are actively pushing it but with no timetable yet," Shi said yesterday at China's Ministry of Environmental Protection and National Energy Administration's joint press conference on nuclear safety after being questioned by Yicai Global.
One challenge facing China is that coal accounts for a large share of the country's energy mix, Shi said. Consumption is heavily dependent on fossil power in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which faces the daunting task of adjusting energy structure.
"Developing nuclear power in this region will be a crucial choice. Nuclear development there could exceed expectations," said Shi. "It is necessary to develop nuclear power in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. We are working on plans and proposals."
With a population of 130 million people, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is a fast-growing economic cluster in North China and is the country's third-biggest contributor to economic growth. It is also home to more than half of China's 10 most polluted cities. Hebei province is heavily dependent on fossil fuel, getting 90 percent of its power from coal-fired generation. Coal is almost the only fuel used by its coal, glass and metallurgical industries.
Experts said at this year's Lianghui or 'two sessions' said that China should promote nuclear development in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, where pollution is worst and nuclear energy accounts for a small share of the fuel mix.