• Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant when completed (concept).

Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant when completed (concept). (Photo : NEA)

China has built or will build 21 new nuclear reactors over the next decade as it strives to wean itself away from coal whose pollution is making many of its major cities unlivable and health hazards for its residents.

Of this total, the construction of five should be finished within the year. The construction of eight more reactors will start this year while planning for eight more will be advanced, also this year, according to China's National Energy Administration (NEA) in its Energy Work Guidance Opinion for 2017 published in February.

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NEA expects completion within the year of the Sanmen 1 reactor for the Sanmen Nuclear Power Station; the Haiyang 1 AP1000 units at the Haiyang Nuclear Power Plant; the Taishan 1 European Pressurized Reactor at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant; the Fuqing 4 reactor at the Fuqing Power Plant and the CPR-1000 units at the Yanjiang Nuclear Power Station.

Together with "other projects," these rectors will add some 6.41 GWe of nuclear generating capacity to the national grid. NEA's plan calls for the safe development of nuclear power throughout China.

NEA plans to begin construction of eight nuclear reactors this year, but did not name them or what type of reactors these will be.

Preparatory work will also to be carried out this year on eight other units. These include units 3 and 4 of Sanmen; Ningde units 5 and 6 and two units each at new plants at Zhangzhou in Fujian and Huizhou in Guangdong. These will add 9.86 GWe of nuclear generating capacity to the grid together with the other projects.

NEA will actively promote the construction of "qualified" nuclear power projects and push for an orderly approval of power plants built along the coast. NEA also said it will continue to implement major nuclear power science and technology projects.

It will also push the construction of the high-temperature gas-cooled demonstration project in Shidaowan in Shandong.