October 31, 2018 / 12:23 AM / a year ago

China nuclear power generation up 13 pct from Jan-Sept - assn

SHANGHAI, Oct 31 (Reuters) - China’s 40 commercially operating nuclear reactors delivered a total of 193.77 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power to the grid in the first nine months of the year, up 13.3 percent from a year earlier, an industry group said.

In a report published late on Tuesday, the China Nuclear Energy Association said total nuclear power generation amounted to 4.1 percent of the national total over the three quarters.

Nuclear had been seen as a crucial part of China’s efforts to reduce the use of polluting, climate-warming fossil fuels, and the country embarked on an ambitious reactor building programme involving key technologies from France, the United States, Russia and Canada.

However, Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011 prompted a rethink among Chinese policymakers, and repeated delays to a number of key nuclear reactor projects have also slowed the pace of construction.

China had aimed to lift total capacity to 58 gigawatts by the end of 2020, and have another 30 GW under construction.

But no new conventional reactor has been approved by the authorities in around three years, and experts now believe the country will struggle to meet its 2020 targets.

Reporting by David Stanway; editing by Richard Pullin

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