China’s first marine nuclear reactor construction kicks off

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China’s first marine nuclear reactor construction kicks off

BEIJING: China’s Hubei province has completed the technical design of its offshore nuclear power station and will soon start its construction, with the first marine reactor to be delivered in 2020.

The offshore nuclear power stations, including floating and submarine ones, can sail to where they are needed and be used for many different needs, including operating drilling machinery for offshore oil and gas fields, providing power supply to islands, as well as heating and desalination, China Daily reported on Wednesday.

Batch construction of offshore nuclear power stations will result in a market that could be worth tens of billions of dollars in a marine nuclear energy industry chain, according to the 719 Research Institute of China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, the general contractor of the project.

Analysts said demand for offshore nuclear power plants is expected to grow in China and will become one of the most significant infrastructures for China's marine area.

Han Xiaoping, chief information officer of China Energy Net Consulting Co, said small nuclear reactors can provide cheap and sustainable electricity and can be moved to isolated areas when they reach the end of their service life.

Floating nuclear reactors can also be exported to economies with large populations but scarce land resources, including economies participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, said Han.