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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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China Begins Working At World’s First Fourth Generation Nuclear Reactor

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According to state media on Wednesday, China has begun commercial operations at the world’s first new generation nuclear reactor.

As China turns to nuclear power to try and meet carbon emissions goals, the fourth generation Shidaowan plant in the northern Shandong province of China is designed to use fuel more efficiently and improve its economics, safety, and environmental footprint.

The 200 megawatt (MW) high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor (HTGCR) plant, which was created in collaboration with Tsinghua University, China National Nuclear Corporation, and state-run utility Huaneng, is modular in design, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Less than 300 MW of modular plants are those that can be built off-site.

While some argue that they are too costly, proponents point out that they can power heavy industry sectors that have historically been difficult to disrupt and operate in remote areas.

By 2035, China wants to generate 10% of its electricity from nuclear power, and by 2060, 18%. However, as of September of this year, the country had fallen short of its 2020 target of installing 58 gigawatts of nuclear capacity.

Additionally, China has not ratified a 20-nation commitment to triple nuclear power capacity by 2050 made at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai.

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