China nuclear power construction

China has the ability to increase the rate of nuclear power plant construction.

From the Straits Times……

BEIJING - China has the capacity to build more nuclear reactors than planned through 2025, the nation’s top industry body said in its annual report.

The national target is six to eight reactors a year, but that could be raised to 10, said the China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA).

The agency is also advocating bringing more nuclear power inland, including as a backup to China’s wind and solar farms in the west, which can generate power only intermittently.

The capacity factors for the intermittent renewables (wind, solar) are so low, those energy sources always need to be backed up with reliable, always-on power. Nuclear power is an excellent way to do that.

China has built more nuclear power plants in recent years than any other country, by a wide margin. See link below which lists the plants. You can sort by first grid connection, if you want.…

Construction recently started at a new site at Lufeng.…

  • Pete

The capacity factors for the intermittent renewables (wind, solar) are so low, those energy sources always need to be backed up with reliable, always-on power. Nuclear power is an excellent way to do that.


Wind and solar do not need to be backed up with “always on power” like USA nuclear. The rapid start combined cycle gas turbines and batteries do a much better job of backing up variable wind and solar. With nuclear power on always there is no way to increase nuclear power output when the sun goes down or wind does not blow. Therefore, nuclear power would need to operate at less than 70% capacity for long periods of time until there is a need to backup wind and solar.

Offshore wind has capacity factors 50-60%

Onshore wind has capacity factor 30-40%

Solar PV has capacity factor of 20-25%

Nuclear capacity factor in France is about 70% because they need to reduce power when the demand is low.


P.S. - It would be good if China does reduce its use of coal by building nuclear, wind, and solar. It appears that China is leaning toward mostly wind and solar with a little help from nuclear. Asia is the leader is renewable energy by continent.…

Capacity 1,286 GW
Global share 46%
Change +167.6 GW
Growth +15.0%


The US small, modular reactor (SMR) design furthest along is the NuScale SMR. The final safety evaluation report has been issued by the NRC, with final design certification expected shortly.

Below are some of the operating characteristics of the NuScale plant.…

We designed a plant that goes beyond providing always-on carbon-free power with features that make us a revolutionary leader in advanced nuclear power technology.

The NuScale plant can extensively load follow to complement intermittent power generation from wind, solar, and hydropower. The operational flexibility of our plant can balance power supply on the grid, no matter the time of day, season, or weather forecast.

This capability provides a flexible, cost-effective solution within the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM)—a means of supplying and dispatching electricity to balance fluctuations in generation and load while maintaining reliability. NuScale’s load following capability is central to the EIM and represents a significant advancement in nuclear plant operations.

Some recent news……

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has indicated it will certify NuScale’s 50-MWe (160 MWth) small modular reactor (SMR) design, marking another definitive milestone for the reactor vendor and its technology prospects.

The NRC on July 29 said it directed staff to issue a final rule that certifies the standard SMR design, for which NuScale submitted an application in December 2016. The certification, which means the design meets the agency’s applicable safety requirements, will be effective 30 days after the NRC publishes that rule in the Federal Register.

The first installation of the NuScale design will be at the Idaho National Laboratory, and will supply the UAMPS municipal electric utility system in various western states.

  • Pete