China will start the construction of its first floating nuclear power plant that could sail to specific sites and anchor offshore to produce power by the end of this year, officials said.
The reactor, designed to power offshore oil and gas drilling, island development and remote areas, is scheduled to be put into operation in 2019, said China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNC) board chairman Sun Qin.
The CNNC holds all the intellectual property rights of the floating nuclear reactor, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Sun, a deputy to the National People’s Congress as saying, before the opening of the annual legislative session.
Beijing is at loggerheads with neighbours including Japan and the Philippines over territorial rows in the East and South China Seas, and has alarmed rivals with its massive reclamation and construction of facilities on disputed reefs.
Currently, China has 30 nuclear power generating units in operation and another 24 units are under construction, all on land.
China aims to build 30 nuclear power units in countries involved with its Silk Road initiative by 2030, Sun said.