Lianghui, which means China’s National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), is hosted in March every year. All voted people’s representatives gather in Beijing to propose and discuss the policies of China. The nuclear industry is currently seen as China’s new economic growth engine, so what nuclear issues were discussed during 2016’sLianghui? I have identified 4 key issues below.
- Safely and Efficiently Developing Nuclear Power
Nur Bekri, the Head of China’s National Energy Administration, reiterated again during the congress that the government’s requirement of developing the nuclear energy in China. Safely and efficiently developing the nuclear industry is the only answer to the question on how China will develop its nuclear energy.
The percentage of installed capacity of nuclear energy is now low in China. The 13th five-year plan set an arduous task to the Chinese nuclear industry that by 2020 China needs to install 58GW of nuclear energy capacity. To achieve the goal it requires China to accelerate the development, but safety is always on the top priority in the nuclear industry.
However, Nur Bekri also mentioned during the congress that China temporarily does not have any plan about an inland nuclear power plant. The ongoing and planning coastal nuclear project is enough for China to reach the energy target.
2. Ensuring the Base-Load Operation of Nuclear Power
This year, He Yu, the President of China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) initiated and submitted a proposal that the government has to ensure the base-load operation of nuclear power and promote the realization of energy supply-side reform.
As China is on the phase optimizing its energy structure, nuclear energy is one of the best alternative source for China. In 2015 alone, the Chinese government approved the construction of 8 nuclear units, which shows the imperativeness of nuclear industry in China.
He Yu said that “Nuclear power has no carbon emissions, no dust, PM2.5 and other pollutants in the production process, the environmental effects of nuclear energy are very obvious. And it can continue to run at full power and it will not be affected by other climatic conditions.”
Besides, He Yu mentioned that in China, sometimes nuclear power plants cannot be operated basing on its base-load, which results in a serious waste of clean energy assets. There should be a clear policy on base-load operation of nuclear power to ensure the full output and large output of nuclear energy.
CGN’s President He Yu at the Great Hall of People for CPPCC
3. Encouraging the Nuclear Industry to Go Out and Maintaining the Advantages of Hualong-1
One Belt One Road Initiative is one of the most important international strategies of China in the next few years. Sun Qin, the president of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said during the National People’s Congress that “Hualong-1 is now the most successful nuclear product of China, CNNC is now standing at the frontier of China’s nuclear industry development.” It is a great opportunity for Chinese nuclear industry going out and help China to realize the One Belt One Road Initiative.
In addition, CNNC also submitted the proposal of maintaining the advantages of Hualong-1 on the international stage by approving more new unit’s construction of Hualong-1 domestically. More units being built in China will increase the reliability of Hualong-1 technology as well as the experience of operating.
4. Continuing Reforming State-owned Companies to Increase Competitiveness
Almost all the Chinese nuclear companies are owned by the country. In the past few years, the reformation of state-owned company has started with partial privatization, corporates’ board system, issuing stocks etc. This year during Lianghui, Wang Binghua who is the president of State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) restated the necessity of reforming Chinese state-owned companies.
In 2015, State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) and China Power Investment Corporation (CPIC) jointed together and established SPIC by implementing the reform. This year SPIC is also planning to be listed on the stock market, which will be the third Chinese nuclear operator company after CGN and CNNC.
SPIC, the joint corporate of SNPTC and CPIC
There are still a big amount of proposals being submitted about nuclear industry in China such as gaining the trust of nuclear energy from the public,deepening the international collaboration on expanding new nuclear market, and setting up new laboratories to study on new nuclear technologies.
What do you think about the proposals about Chinese nuclear industry?