(Yicai Global) Sept. 20 -- China's eastern coastal provinces are looking to build more nuclear power plants over the next five years to help drive local economic growth and take advantage of a government freeze on atomic energy projects in other regions.
All coastal provinces from Liaoning in the north to Hainan in the south already have, or are building, nuclear power-generating plants. Shandong province, a powerhouse and major energy user, aims to become an important nuclear energy base by having installed nuclear capacity of 2.7 gigawatts by 2020 and 20.65 gigawatts by 2030.
"Everything is ready for the pilot large-scale advanced pressurized-water reactor project in Rongcheng city of Shandong," an insider from State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation, which will be responsible for running the project, told Yicai Global. "We're just waiting for the go-ahead."
China, the world's largest energy consumer, has no timetable for restarting a nuclear power plant building program in interior regions, National Energy Administration Director Nur Bekri said in March. Some 31 nuclear power projects were put on hold after the disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011.
Premier Li Keqiang has stressed that promoting nuclear power development has significant implications for China in terms of energy conservation and reduction of emissions. China also hopes to sell its nuclear power technology to other countries. China's nuclear-power generating capacity is set to nearly double over the next five years, according to the long-term development plan of China National Nuclear Power.
Public information shows that some inland provinces including Anhui, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, Henan, Chongqing, Jilin and Heilongjiang also want to build nuclear power plants.