China's installed nuclear power-generating capacity is expected to reach 60 gigawatts by 2020, a senior Chinese energy official said -- much higher than an earlier government estimate of 40 gigawatts. A gigawatt is the equivalent of one billion watts. The new estimate is equal to about two-thirds of Britain's total electricity-generating capacity today, although still equivalent to less than a tenth of China's current total.
"Construction of nuclear-power plants has been progressing faster than planned," Zhang Guobao, a vice minister of China's National Development and Reform Commission, was quoted by the official Xinhua news agency as saying Saturday. The commission is China's top economic-policy planner.
China's nuclear-power sector is relatively underdeveloped. It has 11 reactors in operation, providing about nine gigawatts of power -- out of total electricity-generating capacity in China of some 700 gigawatts. The vast majority of China's power comes from coal-fired power plants.
(Source: Wall Street Journal)