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Response to bananas (Original post)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 02:23 PM

2. Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences: “China must alter nuclear policy" (Too risky to justify)

Editor’s note: On June 23 this year, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the China Science Media Centre held a seminar on nuclear solutions and challenges in Beijing. Speaking at the event, He Zuoxiu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and a researcher at the CAS Institute of Theoretical Physics, fiercely criticised China’s “Great Leap Forward” in nuclear development. An edited extract of his presentation is, with He’s permission, made public for the first time here in two parts. In part one, He outlines three lessons he believes China must take from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

“China must alter nuclear policy” (1)
He Zuoxiu
October 12, 2011

Important lesson from Fukushima 1: China must immediately halt its plans for a nuclear “Great Leap Forward”, formulated by a small number of people behind closed doors.

Let’s take a look at China’s planned nuclear “Great Leap Forward”. Today, China has 11 reactors in operation, generating 9 gigawatts of electricity. Twenty-six more are under construction and will generate 28 gigawatts of electricity. The National Energy Administration and Chinese Academy of Engineering are working on targets which will see 70 gigawatts of nuclear generating capacity by 2020, 200 gigawatts by 2030, and 400 to 500 gigawatts by 2050. Nuclear power will gradually become one of China’s main energy sources.

Globally, there are over 400 reactors up and running, generating 400 gigawatts of electricity. Over the next 10 to 40 years, China aims to match, or even exceed that total.

The United States is an example of a nation that rapidly developed nuclear power (although, after the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, it drastically reduced the pace of nuclear development.) Today, the United States has 100 gigawatts of nuclear-generating capacity, and remains the world leader. Within 40 years, China plans to have four to five times the generating capacity of the United States. My question is: has China made the necessary preparations to undertake this “Great Leap Forward”?



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