China has put its first self-developed nuclear reactor into operation. “With this, China is breaking the monopoly of foreign nuclear power technology and officially entering the front ranks of advanced countries,” said the Chinese energy giant CNNC after the “Hualong One” was connected to the national grid on Friday.
According to the operator, the new reactor is capable of generating ten billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year, thereby reducing carbon emissions by 8.16 million tons. “According to the National Energy Agency, nuclear power plants will cover less than five percent of China’s annual electricity needs in 2019. However, this share is likely to increase as Beijing aims to become carbon neutral by 2060. Reducing dependence on the West in technology sectors such as power generation is also a declared goal of the Beijing project “Made in China 2025”.
In recent years, the Chinese government has spent billions of dollars on expanding its nuclear energy sector. There are currently 13 nuclear power plants under construction in China – more than in any other country. the importance of nuclear energy for climate change – is controversial. Its head, Rafael Grossi, recently reiterated that without nuclear power there can be no effective climate protection. During a visit to Germany, the Argentinean said: “The end of nuclear energy in Germany, which has been decided for 2022, is politically legitimate, but cannot be scientifically justified in terms of the climate and the two-degree target. “The scientific fact is that nuclear power plants emit extremely low levels of carbon dioxide.” He said it is a fact that one third of clean energy comes from nuclear sources.
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