China starts up world's first fourth-generation nuclear reactor

08 Jan, 2024
Image: Song Kunyang/Xinhua

China has started commercial operations at a new generation nuclear reactor that is the first of its kind in the world. Compared with previous reactors, the fourth generation Shidaowan plant in China's northern Shandong province is designed to use fuel more efficiently and improve its economics, safety and environmental footprint as China turns to nuclear power to try to meet carbon emissions goals.

The 200 megawatt (MW) high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor (HTGCR) plant developed jointly by state-run utility Huaneng, Tsinghua University and China National Nuclear Corporation, uses a modular design.

Modular plants refer to those of less than 300MW that can be constructed off site. Proponents say they can operate in remote locations and power traditionally hard-to-abate heavy industry sectors, but critics say they are too expensive.

China has a goal to produce 10% of electricity from nuclear by 2035 and 18% by 2060.

Source: Reuters

Image: Song Kunyang/Xinhua


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