China’s first domestically made N-reactor goes online

29 November, 2020 12:00 AM printer

China’s first domestically made N-reactor goes online

China has powered up its first domestically developed nuclear reactor—the Hualong One—a significant step in Beijing’s attempts to become less dependent on Western allies for energy security and critical technology, reports AFP.

The reactor, which was connected to the national grid on Friday, can generate 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year and cut carbon emissions by 8.16 million tons, according to China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

“This marks China breaking the monopoly of foreign nuclear power

technology and  officially entering the technology’s first batch of advanced countries,” CNNC said in a statement.

Nuclear plants supplied less than five percent of China’s annual electricity needs in 2019, according to the National Energy Administration, but this share is expected to grow as Beijing attempts to become carbon neutral by 2060.

Reducing its dependence on Western allies in critical high-tech sectors such as power generation is a key goal in Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” plan.

Billions of dollars in state subsidies have been given to Chinese companies to speed the process—a move that has angered China’s trade partners and sparked a protracted trade row with Washington.

Work on the Hualong One reactor started in 2015 and there are currently six other reactors under construction at home and abroad, state-owned plant operator CNNC said.

The Hualong One, deployed at a plant in east China’s Fujian province, will be put into commercial use by the end of the year after undergoing tests.


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