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The Rise of Nuclear China

As part of its new five-year plan for 2020 - 2025, China has set a target of 70 GW of electricity generation by nuclear power. To achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, China is projected to surpass the United States in terms of installed nuclear power capacity at the end of this decade. Beijing has also suggested that by 2030 China could sell about thirty reactors abroad as part of its Belt and Road Initiative. While the West is losing technological know-how, China is on course to become the world leader in civilian nuclear technology. From cyber-nuclear security standards to norms around nuclear technology exports, I want to better understand the impacts that China’s leadership and technological choices in the civilian nuclear sector can have on global nuclear governance, non-proliferation, and nuclear security. It is also important to assess and examine the various paths that China might follow for the development of nuclear power and how they relate to environmental issues, social concerns, and energy policies domestically.



From its five-year plan objectives to its carbon neutrality target before 2060, China is set to significantly expand its nuclear power generation capacity in the next few decades. This project aims at assessing this expansion with numbers, notably by comparing the relative merits of nuclear power with competing renewable energies. It also focuses on examining the constraints and risks that this expansion entails.

Assessing Nuclear Power Development in China

Collaborators on this project: M.V. Ramana

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