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CNNC contributes to reaching carbon neutrality goals

Nuclear energy is an important option to achieve carbon neutrality goals

Updated: 2021-02-22

Nuclear energy is a major energy option to tackle climate change because it is safe, economical and efficient. After three decades, China's self-developed third-generation nuclear power technologies have ranked among the top in the world. China has accumulated world-class experience in the design, manufacture, construction, and operation of nuclear power and is a world leader in industrial development capacity. There is still much more space for China to develop its nuclear energy. China will stick to the safe and systematic development of its nuclear energy during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period and an even longer time in a drive to support the realization of peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality targets.


Encourage the development of nuclear power to facilitate the building of a low-carbon society

The first nuclear power unit in Chinese mainland got connected to the grid in the 1990s, which was acclaimed as a national honor. In the 21st century, China's nuclear power sector has entered a stage of large-scale development. As of the end of October 2021, China had 51 nuclear power units in commercial operation, with a total installed capacity of 53.27 million kilowatts, ranking third in the world. Meanwhile, 18 nuclear power units with a total installed capacity of 18.95 million kilowatts are under construction, as China continues to rank first in the world.

Hualong One, domestically-designed nuclear power technology, contributes to China's carbon-free technology innovation

China launched its research and development of large-sized advanced Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) in the 1990s, and developed Hualong One, the third-generation nuclear power technology with fully independent intellectual property right, by fully absorbing globally cutting-edge designing philosophies of nuclear power on the basis of previous research of nuclear power technologies. To date, the China National Nuclear Corporation(CNNC) has six Hualong One units at home and two overseas in operation. Moreover, unit 5 of Fuqing nuclear power plant, the world's first Hualong One unit, in East China's Fujian province and Pakistan's Karachi nuclear power plant unit 2, world's first overseas Hualong One unit, have been connected to the grid, signifying that China has become one of the global leaders in nuclear power technology. CNNC will continue to make nuclear contributions to China's development of carbon-free energy.

Accelerate the utilization of nuclear energy and expand the scope for carbon-free development

With the support of the National Science and Technology Major Projects, CNNC has smoothly promoted the building of the high temperature gas-cooled reactor demonstration project, and pressed ahead with industrialized, large-scale and diversified development of HTGR nuclear power units. In response to the requirements to keep our skies blue, CNNC has made breakthroughs in the application of nuclear heating technologies, and strove to make new progress in hydrogen-making and underwater energy mix sectors by fully tapping the potentials of nuclear energy.

Promote nuclear energy globally and support global governance in climate change

China has promoted its nuclear power technologies to other countries during the past three decades. For instance, it has exported seven nuclear power units to Pakistan — Chashma Nuclear Power Plant unit 1-5 (C1-C5) and Karachi nuclear power plant unit 2-3 (K2-K3). Nuclear power is the most reliable and efficient source of electricity generation in Pakistan. Official figures show that about 7.3 percent of electricity in Pakistan was produced by nuclear power stations in 2018, making tremendous contributions to the carbon-free energy development in the country. Meanwhile, China is stepping up dialogues and engagement with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative and neighboring emerging economies, such as Argentina, Bulgaria, and Saudi Arabia over the prospective nuclear energy cooperation. Through export of nuclear energy, China is actively participating in the global governance of climate change.