China is pushing full steam ahead in its mission to be as innovative as possible, now floating out concrete plans to build the country’s first floating nuclear power plant.
Dubbed the ACPR50S, the small 200MW floating reactor is intended as an offshore supply of electricity, heat, and desalination for resource exploration trips in coastal areas, or alternatively as an emergency power source in the case of natural disasters. Devised as part of China’s 13th five-year-plan, the offshore reactor is expected to have such benefits as cost-reductive construction in a shipyard, and low environmental impact.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission has already approved designs for the reactor, and construction is expected to be completed by 2020.
In addition to the ACPR50S, the country plans to construct over a hundred other nuclear power reactors across the next decade. That’ll amount to seven new reactors per year and 7 billion USD altogether. By 2050, China will possess 350GW worth of nuclear power, and have spent over a trillion USD.
The ACPR50S won’t technically be the world’s first floating nuclear plant. Currently, America’s Nuclear Navy have over a hundred nuclear-powered vessels with a virtually spotless track record. However, China’s design differs insofar as its nuclear vessel is intended not as a power supply for onboard but for given coastal sites.
That said, it seems China will be shown up by the Russians, who are also apparently getting in on that action with their own floating reactor currently in the works with the construction of the Akademik Lomonosov expected to be completed in 2017. Meanwhile, the mainland is yet to christen its new nuclear addition.
This and other nuclear issues of interest will be reviewed at the Platts Nuclear Energy Conference in Washington on February 17.
[Images via China National Nuclear Corporation]