China building floating nuclear reactors
With an eye on the South China Sea and offshore oil and gas exploration, China is stepping up construction of floating nuclear reactors.
A top Chinese official has told the Science and Technology Daily that China will prioritise the development of a floating nuclear power platform in the coming five years, in an effort to provide stable power to offshore projects and promote exploration of oil and gas in the ocean, the People’s Daily online reported.
Wang Yiren, vice director of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, said diesel generators are currently the main power source for China’s offshore operations, and the daily lives of residents on the Nansha and Xisha Islands. These are the Chinese names of for the Spratly and Paracel islands in the South China Sea, which are at the heart of a maritime dispute between China and other countries in the region.
In 2015, China’s National Development and Reform Commission — the country’s main planning organisation — had approved floating reactor project, steered by the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN). CGN had then said that project ACPR50S could provide “electricity, heat and desalination” to islands and offshore energy exploration.