t’s the dawn of a brave new world in China with construction work beginning on the country’s first floating nuclear power plant.
The 14 billion yuan ($2 billion) plant is being built in the coastal Shandong city of Yantai under the direction of the China National Nuclear Corporation, according to a report from the local Qilu Evening News.
While details about the project are few at the moment, an announcement last year about the plant said that it would boast a 400-megawatt reactor, capable of providing clean energy to 200,000 households.
The plant may be used to power coastal cities, islands, offshore platforms, or remote areas. It’s expected to be ready for operation in 2021.
As part of its 13th Five Year Plan, laying down the strategy for the country’s development from 2016 to 2020, China had said that its first floating power plant would be ready to go by 2020. A short time later, it announced plans to construct a fleet of 20 nuclear power plants to provide power to its artificial islands in the South China Sea, raising both environmental and global security concerns.
Since then, little had been said about China’s nuclear sea power ambitions.
In the meantime, in April of this year, Russia launched the world’s first floating nuclear plant, the 70-megawatt Akademik Lomonosov. The plant, which will be used to provide power for the Arctic town of Pevek, has been called “Chernobyl on ice” and a “nuclear Titanic” by Greenpeace.