The Chinese government is planning to build inland nuclear power plants in the next phase of nuclear power expansion in the country through 2020.
Upon releasing a blueprint on nuclear power development during China's 13th 5-year plan period (2016-2020), Wang Yiren, vice chairman of China Atomic Energy Authority said the country is capable of ensuring the safe operation of nuclear power plants built inland.
"The technology is the same for both coastal and inland nuclear power plants. Those that meet the safety requirements in coastal areas can also do so inland. So long as the plants operate strictly according to regulations and standards and strengthen security measures, their safety can be guaranteed," said Wang.
Right now, nuclear plants in China are mainly distributed in coastal provinces including Liaoning, Shandong, and several others. However, it has not built any nuclear power plants inland.
Responding to concerns that inland reactors may not have sufficient water resources for cooling purposes, Wang Yiren said authorities have already taken that into consideration.
"All these problems can be solved. The inland nuclear power plants make water recycled within them for cooling, and do not use water from outside sources the Yangtze River for cooling," said Wang.
Wang added that expanding economies in China's inland provinces are pointing to growing demand for energy, which makes nuclear power plants a must-have in the future.
The country has already carried out feasibility studies for building nuclear power plants in the inland provinces of Hunan, Hubei and Jiangxi.
With 35 nuclear power units in operation, China now ranks 4th globally after the United States, France, and Russia.