China is set to undertake an even bigger investment in nuclear energy capacity over the coming several decades than analysts had anticipated.
The country is seeking to supply at least 18% of its entire energy mix from nuclear power, up from 5% today.
China’s top nuclear energy firm expects a surge in investment for new reactors as a result over the coming years, with planning well underway for dozens of new plants this decade alone.
China’s nuclear power capacity will grow some 652% to 400 gigawatts by 2060, said China’s State-owned nuclear power group CGN Chairman Changli told a conference this week.
Nuclear will account for over 18% of China’s power generation by the middle of the century, under the new plans.
Local media in China reported the new ambitious goals outlined in a speech by Changli.
China is set to construct at least 15 new nuclear reactors in the next 15-years and it may need to increase these builds under the new ambitions.
The price of spot uranium is also on the rise this week, after months of stagnation.
It came as France and China announced new cooperation on nuclear power technology during the Marcon-Xi summit earlier this year.
China is working to secure the supply of uranium, with recent discussions with Kazakhstan – a major supplier of uranium to Russia and China.
According to The Diplomat:
Kazakhstan is also the world’s leading exporter of uranium. In 2020, the country produced 19,477 tonnes, generating an export value of $1.7 billion. That year, Kazakhstan accounted for over 50 percent of global uranium exports. In 2021, Kazakhstan produced 21,819 tonnes, generating an export value of $1.1 billion, totaling 33.7 percent of natural uranium exports worldwide. The majority of uranium exports are sent to China, while the remainder is exported to Europe, Canada, and the United States. While uranium exports from Kazakhstan account for approximately 20 percent of the annual demand for uranium in Europe and about 22 percent in the United States, for China, the percentage is likely to be much higher given that almost all of the uranium China uses for commercial purposes is imported.