China announced March 12 that it plans to increase its nuclear power generation capacity 20 percent in 2013. China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Chairman He Yu said the addition will help China take the No. 3 spot in the world for the number of nuclear power-generating units in operation, the Deccan Herald reported.
This year, China will add 3.24 gigawatts of nuclear power. As of October, the country had 15 nuclear power-generating units in operation and a total installed capacity of 12.54 GW, the article stated. Another 30 units are under construction, which upon completion will add 32.81 GW of nuclear generation.
By 2020, the country hopes to have 40 GW of nuclear generation, accounting for less than 4 percent of China's total power-generating capacity.
China's development of new nuclear power was suspended shortly after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in March 2011. However, China’s State Council released a revised set of nuclear safety regulations last year that will approve projects proposed for coastal areas.
The revised strategy also highlighted new nuclear plants will be designed and constructed according to Gen III+ reactor standards to ensure a higher level of safety.