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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Asia's Nuclear Energy Growth

  • In contrast with North America and most of Western Europe where growth in electricity generating capacity and particularly nuclear power levelled out for many years, a number of countries in East and South Asia are planning and building new power reactors to meet their increasing demands for electricity.Asia is the main region in the world where electricity generating capacity and specifically nuclear power is growing significantly.
  • In East and South Asia there are 112 nuclear power reactors in operation, 37 under construction and firm plans to build a further 84 (at April 2010). Many more are proposed.
  • The greatest growth in nuclear generation is expected in China, Japan, South Korea and India.

Through to 2010 projected new generating capacity in this region involved the addition of some 38 GWe per year, and from 2010 to 2020 it is 56 GWe/yr, up to one third of this replacing retired plant. This is about 36% of the world's new capacity (current world capacity is about 3700 GWe, of which 370 GWe is nuclear). Much of this growth will be in China, Japan, India and Korea. The nuclear share of this to 2020 is expected to be considerable, especially if environmental constraints limit fossil fuel expansion.

There are currently 112 nuclear power reactors operating in six countries of the region, 37 units under construction (with several more due to start construction in 2010), firm plans in place to build 84 more, and serious proposals for another 180.

In addition, there are about 56 research reactors in fourteen countries of the region. The only major Pacific Rim countries without any kind of research reactor are Singapore and New Zealand.

Japan
54 units (47 GWe) in operation, 2 under construction, 12 planned (total 19 GWe), also 17 research reactors.

Japan generates up to 30% of its electricity from nuclear power. By 2017, nuclear contribution is expected to increase to 41%, especially if emission targets under the Kyoto Protocol are met. Longer term plans are to double nuclear capacity (to 90 GWe) and nuclear share by 2050.

The reactors most recently started up include third generation advanced reactors, with improved safety systems. The first of these was connected to the grid in 1996.

Japan is committed to reprocessing its used fuel to recover uranium and plutonium for re-use in electricity production, both as mixed-oxide fuel in conventional reactors, and also in fast neutron reactors.

Japan has a high temperature test reactor which has reached 950°C, high enough to enable thermochemical production of hydrogen. It expects to use some 20 GW of nuclear heat for hydrogen production by 2050, with the first commercial plant coming on line in 2025.

China
11 units in operation (8.6 GWe), 22 under construction (24.6 GWe), 35 planned, 120 proposed; also 13 research reactors.

China is moving ahead rapidly in building new nuclear power plants, many of them conspicuously on time and on budget.

Chinese electricity demand has been growing at more than 8% per year. The electricity demand is strongest in the Guangdong province adjacent to Hong Kong. National plans call for 80 GWe nuclear by 2020, requiring an average of 7000 MWe per year to be added. The Chinese industry projects 200 GWe by 2030.

China has built a small advanced high-temperature gas-cooled demonstration reactor (HTR) with pebble bed fuel, which started up in 2000. A commercial prototype HTR based on it is expected to start up in 2013.

Republic of Korea (South Korea)
20 units in operation (17.5 GWe), 6 under construction, 6 planned (total 15 GWe), also 2 research reactors.

South Korea meets 35% of its electricity needs from nuclear power, and this is increasing.

The national plan is to expand to 35 nuclear power reactors by 2030, including advanced reactor designs, and achieve 59% nuclear supply. Demand for electricity in South Korea has been increasing strongly.

In collaboration with US companies, Korea developed the 1000 MWe OPR-1000 nuclear reactor which is 95% locally-made, and may be exported to Indonesia and Vietnam. The newer AP1400 model is based on it, and four have been sold to United Arab Emirates,

South Korea has a US$ 1 billion R&D and demonstration program aiming to produce commercial hydrogen using nuclear heat about 2020.

North Korea
2 units partially built but subject to political delays, also 1 research reactor.

North Korea was moving towards commissioning one small power reactor, but concern focussed on attempts to develop illicit weapons capability caused this to be halted.

The USA and South Korea offered assistance in substituting two reactors which would not produce weapons-grade plutonium, and agreement for these was signed late in 1995. They are (South) Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plant type and construction of the first was about one third complete when construction was abandoned.

India
19 units in operation (4.2 GWe), 4 under construction, 20 planned, 24 proposed; also 5 research reactors.

India has achieved independence in its nuclear fuel cycle. Nuclear power currently supplies less than 4% of electricity in India from 19 reactors. The units under construction are due for completion by 2011, and a further 35 units are proposed beyond that, some of them modern western designs. Plans are for 20 GWe by 2020.

India is a pioneer in developing the thorium fuel cycle, and has several advanced facilities related to this.

Pakistan
2 reactors in operation, 1 under construction, 2 planned, also 1 research reactor.

Pakistan generates almost 3% of its electricity by nuclear, its second power reactor started up in 2000, and the third - supplied by China - is under construction.

The government plans 0.9 GWe of new nuclear capacity by 2015, and a further 7.5 GWe by 2030.

Bangladesh
2 units proposed, 1 research reactor

The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission proposes building two 1000 MWe nuclear reactors by 2020, possibly with Russian help. It has one operating research reactor.

Indonesia
2 reactors planned, 4 proposed, 3 research reactors.

Demand for electricity in Indonesia has been growing rapidly, and this promoted development of several independent power projects.

The government says that it has $8 billion earmarked for four nuclear plants of total 6 GWe to be in operation by 2025, starting with Muria 1 & 2 probably as South Korean OPR-1000 units. Under current plans it aims to meet 2% of power demand from nuclear by 2017.

There is also proposed a small power and desalination plant proposed for Madura, using the S. Korean SMART reactor.

Vietnam
2 reactors planned, 8 proposed, 1 research reactor.

Two reactors total 2000 MWe are planned at Phuoc Dinh in the southern Ninh Thuan province to come into operation from by 2020, followed by another 2000 MWe at Vinh Hai in the Ninh Hai district. These plants would be followed by a further 6000 MWe by 2030, subsequently increased to having a total of 15,000 MWe by 2030.

Thailand
2 reactors planned, 4 proposed, 1 research reactor, + 1 being built.

Interest by Thailand in nuclear power was revived by a forecast growth in electricity demand of 7 per cent per year for the next twenty years. About 70% of electricity is from natural gas. Capacity requirement in 2016 is forecast at 48 GWe.

In June 2007 the Energy Minister announced that it would proceed with plans to build a 4000 MWe nuclear power plant, and has budgeted funds for preparatory work. Construction is to commence in 2014, to operate from 2020.

Thailand has had an operating research reactor since 1977 and a larger one is under construction.

Demand is growing rapidly and is expected to reach about 100 billion kWh/yr in 2010 - from 40 billion kWh in 2003. More than half of its power comes from hydro, a quarter from gas. It has a research reactor at Da Lat, operated with Russian assistance.

Philippines
1 reactor proposed, 1 research reactor.

The Philippines has one power reactor completed but its operation was aborted over litigation concerning bribery and safety deficiencies. In 2007 the government set up a project to study the development of nuclear energy, in the context of an overall energy plan for the country, to reduce dependence on imported oil and coal. In 2008 an IAEA mission commissioned by the government advised that the nuclear plant could be refurbished and economically and safely be operated for 30 years. A feasibility study is due to be completed in mid 2010.

As well as this, the government is considering two further 1000 MWe Korean Standard Nuclear Plant units, using equipment from the aborted North Korean KEDO project.

Malaysia
1 research reactor. 

In 2008 the government announced that it had no option but to commission nuclear power due to high fossil fuel prices, and set 2023 as target date. Early in 2010 the government said it had budgeted $7 billion funds for this.

The Tembeling Valley plant in Jerantut, Pahang is one of the proposed site.



Nuclear Power in Asia, and Involvement with the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Power Reactors in OperationPower Reactors Under ConstructionPower Reactors Planned Research ReactorsOther Stages of the Fuel Cycle
Australia



1
UM
Bangladesh


2
1

China
11
22
35
13
UM, C, E, FF
India
19
4
20
5
UM, FF, R, WM
Indonesia


2
3
FF
Japan
54
2
12
17+1
C, E, FF, R, WM
S. Korea
20
6
6
2
C, FF
N.Korea


1
1
C?,FF?,R
Malaysia



1

Pakistan
2
1
2
1
UM, E, FF
Philippines



1

Thailand


2
1+1

Vietnam


2
1

** Total
112 
37
84
56*


* 54 operable, 2 under construction
** The total includes 6 reactors in operation, plus two under construction, on Taiwan. It also has four research reactors. Taiwan has no other stages of the fuel cycle.
Key: UM Uranium Mining, C Conversion, E Enrichment, FF Fuel Fabrication, R Reprocessing, WM Waste Management facilities for spent fuel away from reactors.
Sources:
WNA Reactor table, country papers
OECD/IEA World Energy Outlook 2000
Nuclear Engineering International, World Nuclear Industry Handbook 2005.

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