MIT: China is beating America in nuclear energy

China is getting way ahead of America in nuclear power, according to a study published Monday in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Technology Review.

The MIT Technology Review examined Chinese plans to literally double the amount of nuclear power and the country’s plans to develop and build extremely advanced molten-salt reactors, a concept America developed, but abandoned in the 1970s.

China intends to bring 58 gigawatts of nuclear generating capacity Daily Caller  New Foundationinto operation by 2020, up from the current capacity of roughly 27 gigawatts, according to World Nuclear News. China plans to follow this up with 150 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2030, according to the World Nuclear Association. In comparison, America currently plans to have 100 gigawatts of nuclear power in 2030.

By 2050, China intends to have more than 350 gigawatts of nuclear power, having spent over a trillion dollars in nuclear investment. A gigawatt of power provides enough energy for roughly 700,000 homes.

China currently operates 30 nuclear reactors, from which it derives 2.5 percent of its electnuclearplant2ricity. The country plans to build another 24 reactors and will accelerate construction of a large commercial scale reprocessing plant to reprocess spent nuclear fuel.

Globally, installed nuclear capacity is expected to grow 60 percent by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency, while American capacity will likely only grow by 16 percent over the same time period.

Of the 59 new nuclear reactors under construction worldwide to help meet increasing demand for electricity, only four of them are being built in the America — just enough to compensate for shutting down aging nuclear reactors.

Merely getting regulatory approval to build new reactors can take up to 25 years, while a reactor can be built in merely 10. It took an incredible 43 years to get approval to build America’s newest nuclear reactor due to scandals, red tape and environmental concerns.

The average age for American nuclear reactors is 35, nearly obsolete by modern design standards and near the end of 40-year operating licenses. Sixteen American nuclear reactors are more than 42 years old, according to government data compiled and mapped by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller

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About the Author: Andrew Follett

Andrew Follett covers energy and the environment for the Daily Caller.

  • Frederick Colbourne

    “China is beating America in nuclear energy”

    The Province of Ontario in Canada is beating America in nuclear energy.

  • WalterHorsting

    MSRs are the way forward, they should cost 50% less and build able in 1/3 the time. eGeneration.org

  • WalterHorsting

    It is really sad, the MSR design from ORNL in the 1950s is giving to China because the US greens hate nuclear and want to destroy the earth with RE. Obama forced the US Navy to install $8 B in wind vs $1-2 B to finalize ORNL MRSE design and build 6-8 GWs 4th gen MSRs.

    Sad indeed!

  • Oh finally China is up to something significant to reduce their carbon dioxide ejection. However, they also seem to be careless about potential accident. Sure, they will probably do the best they can to build safe nuclear power plants (well, as bes as it can be in a corrupted country). However, Fukushima Daiichi also considered the safety instructions before building the power plant. And yet, a disaster happened https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/fukushima/status-update I am not even talking about Chernobyl nuclear disaster https://nuclear-disaster.com when they were sure nothing would ever happen, yet it did.
    Nuclear power is pretty problematic. Moreover, China has plenty of windy mountains and rivers, why not focusing on renewables instead.

    • Ike Bottema

      Right. The Daiichi meltdown radiation releases killed how many? Meanwhile coal is killing people every day and you worry about China being careless about nuclear? Meanwhile I suppose hydro disasters have never taken place. Why not worry about things that have and continue to kill people rather than potentially killing people if potentially they are careless?

    • Brin Jenkins

      Do you recognise corruption at home too?