China launched its first locally produced nuclear reactor on Friday, a significant step in its drive for independence from Western technology.
The Hualong One, the first nuclear reactor produced in China, was connected to the national electricity grid on Friday. It can produce some 10 billion kWh of electricity each year and reduce carbon emissions by 8.16 million tonnes, according to the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).
China is thus breaking “the monopoly of foreign nuclear technology”, welcomed the CNNC in a statement.
Chinese nuclear power plants supplied only 5% of the country’s electricity needs in 2019, according to the National Energy Administration, but this share is expected to increase with China’s goal of being carbon neutral. ‘by 2060.
Reducing dependence on Western technology in strategic sectors, such as nuclear power, is a central objective of the Chinese strategy defined in the “Made in China 2025” plan.
Billions of dollars in official aid have been poured into Chinese companies to achieve this goal, a policy that irritates China’s trading partners and has sparked a trade war with the United States.
Work to develop Hualong One started in 2015 and six other reactors are currently under construction, in China and abroad, the CNNC said.
China has 47 nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 48.75 million KW, ranking third behind the United States and France.
Posted today at 07:30