NEW YORK, Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- China's impeccable progress in last three decades has mesmerized the rest of the world by the way it promoted itself from a largely agrarian based economy to the leading industrial economy in just three decades. This economic growth came by the result of well-thought planning and its perfect implementation. Now in order to promote clean energy and to ensure energy security, the People's Republic of China (PRC) is putting major thrust on nuclear power which it started only as an additional energy source in early 1990's. Coal has always been the major energy source in the country due to its abundant coal resources.
China's electricity generation is on an average three-fourth dominated by coal based electricity generation. The situation, however, is changing of late due to increasing concern of environmental degradation because of carbon emissions by indiscriminate burning of coal. China is already world's largest polluter with maximum coal consumption in electricity generation for its 1.3 billion plus population and over a hundred thousand industries. China has committed before international fraternity to cut down its carbon emissions substantially in different phases. The urge to reduce carbon emissions by increased use of clean energy has brought nuclear power at the forefront of China's energy policy.
China has installed capacity for nuclear power of 28.9 GW out of the total installed capacity of 1508 GW from all sources. As in the beginning of April 2016, China has 32 nuclear power reactors in operation, 22 under construction, and few more about to start construction.
At present, China is placed at fourth position in terms of installed generating capacity by nuclear power plants, only after United States, France and Japan and fifth in number of reactors in operation – after United States, France, Japan and Russia. Though China's first nuclear power plant was commissioned in 1991 with a unit of capacity 288 MWe in Qinshan in Zhejiang province, only in 1994, nuclear energy started getting the importance what it is receiving now. With the beginning of commercial operation of two nuclear power generation facilities – Daya Bay 944 MWe unit Guangdong and another unit of 288 MWe in Zhejiang, it marked a great milestone for the nuclear energy sector in China.