December 18, 2009
Climate change fears are pushing developing countries around the world into funding risky and uneconomic projects. China’s recent announcement that it is planning a massive expansion of its nuclear program is the latest example.
But nuclear energy, which has been proven to be so uneconomic and risky that the private sector won’t invest in it without protective subsidies and exemption from liability, is just the tip of the iceberg. Recent reports suggest that experimental and potentially dangerous activities such as carbon sequestration are also being held up as a potential solution to curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
For a closer look at what projects in the developing world are receiving carbon credits, check out our new Carbon Credit Database—the first of its kind on the web.
Read the full article, “China plans huge nuclear power expansion” below.
Read the article, “China pushes CO2 capture, storage questions loom” here.
China Plans Huge Nuclear Power Expansion
December 16, 2009
by EU News Network
(Beijing) — China, under pressure to cut gas emissions, plans a huge expansion of its nuclear power program in coming decades by adding about 10 new plants annually.
While China’s current civilian nuclear power industry, with 11 plants, hasn’t had major incident, there are safety concerns both at home and abroad with the pace of the new program, although it is seen as at least helping slow down gas emissions blamed for global warming, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Currently, nuclear plants producing about nine gigawatts of power account for 2.7 percent of China’s total electricity. Under the new plans, the country wants to more than quadruple that capacity in the next 10 years, and increase it to as much as 400 gigawatts by 2050. However, because of growing demand, the new capacity, if fully achieved, would still generate only 9.7 percent of the total output in 2020.
Safety concerns have surfaced because many of the new plants would be located near cities with large populations, the Times reported. China’s safety scandals in the food, pharmaceutical and toy industries and poor construction of some schools that collapsed during last year’s earthquake in Sichuan province also have not been forgotten.
China’s safety record in industries supervised by the government such as aviation is strong, the Times said. Safety concerns in the nuclear power industry are expected to grow as the pace picks up and more contractors and subcontractors seek to cut costs.
“It’s a concern, and that’s why we’re all working together because we hear about these things going on in other industries,” William P. Poirier with Westinghouse Electric, which is building four nuclear reactors in China, told the newspaper.