China Plans More Nuclear Reactors

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China's proven uranium reserves can cover demand until 2030 and it will need to import more uranium to satisfy long-term consumption, Chen Yuehui, deputy general manager of China National Nuclear Corp.'s overseas exploration unit, said in the text of a speech to be delivered at a conference today.

China, the world's second-biggest energy consumer, plans to add more nuclear-power capacity by 2020, step up uranium imports and explore for the fuel in nations as diverse as Kazakhstan and Niger.

The country's nuclear-power capacity will rise to at least 60 gigawatts by the end of the next decade, Wang Yonggan, secretary of the China Electricity Council, said at the National Nuclear Congress in Beijing today. Overall generation capacity will double to 1,500 gigawatts by then, Wang said.

China is turning to alternative energy sources to cut its reliance on polluting coal, which generates almost 80 percent of the nation's electricity. Atomic power will account for more than 5 percent of total output by 2020, Wang said.

"Five percent is still not high,'' Simon Lee, an analyst at Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd., said from Hong Kong by telephone. "China, as a country with such high base-load demand, certainly should raise the proportion of nuclear power, which is also more economically viable than coal-fired units.''

China's proven uranium reserves can cover demand until 2030 and it will need to import more uranium to satisfy long-term consumption, Chen Yuehui, deputy general manager of China National Nuclear Corp.'s overseas exploration unit, said in the text of a speech to be delivered at the conference tomorrow.

The country would require 7,000 metric tons of uranium a year to operate 40 gigawatts of nuclear capacity, Xu Yuming, executive director of the China Nuclear Energy Association, said at the conference today.

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