Sichuan province has become the first in China to open its nuclear power sector to private investment, according to an official notice published on Monday. The provincial government is encouraging what it called qualified enterprises to invest in future nuclear power projects, research, the manufacturing of nuclear power equipment, and its nuclear-power service industry. Experts said the Sichuan green light was a strong message that China is now willing to diversify its funding sources to support what is an ambitious nuclear power program, especially on research and development, which slowed in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power station disaster in Japan. However, they said the Sichuan authorities still need to clarify the exact qualification requirements for investors, and what returns and risks might be involved. The commission’s latest data show that China is operating, building and planning 52 nuclear power plants. Xu predicts the country will then build another six to eight nuclear power units every year until 2030, bringing its gross installed nuclear power capacity to 200 million kW, which is then likely to account for more than 10 percent of the country’s total power needs.
To cut its carbon emissions, China is also vowing to generate a fifth of its power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, against a current 10 percent, placing nuclear at the center of those plans.

Guo Hongbo, a spokesman for the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp, told Xinhua News Agency in May, however, that the research and development of core nuclear power technology remained a main obstacle. Nuclear fission reactors produce high amounts of relatively clean electric energy by burning nuclear fuels, such as uranium. With high-efficiency uranium fuel, a nuclear reactor power plant could extract several gigawatt-days of energy out of a single ton of nuclear material. As if nuclear waste were not a big enough problem, it seems that the high-efficiency fuels would raise the radioactivity of nuclear waste by 50 percent, comparing to that of waste currently produced in modern reactors. Higher-efficiency nuclear fuel is required for the next generation of nuclear reactors, which will burn longer and stronger to produce even higher amounts of energy.
Rising fuel efficiency seems to work extremely well with pressurized water and boiling water reactors, albeit rising conversion efficiency is not the sole goal of engineers developing the next generation of nuclear reactors. If such a reactor were to suddenly lose control over the chain reaction, as in the case of a water loss, the reactor core could suffer a partial or total meltdown.

Radioactive waste is one of the most controversial aspects of using nuclear energy to produce electric power.
According to the US nuclear energy Electric Power Research Institute, coolant loss is a highly unlikely possibility in the modern nuclear reactors, however a review of the safety standards still has to be conducted in order to evaluate whether high fuel-efficiency reactors will be allowed to function. China just opened upĀ its first nuclear power sector located at Deyang, SiChuan Province to private investment .

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