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Nuke to the Rescue

China puts plans in full gear to wave off energy crisis...

China's three major nuclear powerbases including Qinshan plant, Daya Bay plant and Tianwan plant will boast a combined capacity of 8.7 million kilowatts in two years, outlining the country's nuclear landscape.

Kang Rixin, general manager of the China Nuclear Industry Group Corporation, said at a recent exhibition that nuclear power is expected to become a major means of relieving China's power demands in the first two decades of the 21st century.

Electricity generated by nuclear power accounted for only 1.4 per cent of China's total electricity supply by May 2003,compared to 16 per cent in developed countries, according to figures from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Xu Jianzhong, a researcher with the Institute of Engineering Thermophysics under the CAS said that China is expected to obtain 4 per cent of its electricity, or 32 million kilowatts generated by nuclear plants by 2020.

Eight generating units are currently operating in the three bases, with another three due to begin operation in the next two years.