The National Energy Administration and the National Development and Reform Commission jointly released the 13th Five-Year Plan for power development on Monday.
During the next five years, the government will have around 30 million kilowatts of nuclear energy facilities going into operation and have over 30 million kW of such facilities under construction. By 2020, China will have 58 million kW of installed nuclear power, up 16.5 percent year on year.
The country will keep developing nuclear power safely, improve the construction of independent nuclear demonstration projects and speed up the construction of nuclear projects in coastal regions, according to the plan.
A total of 32 million kW of installed nuclear power has been put into operation as of Sep 30, the National Business Daily reported. Some insiders predicted the target of "58 million kW" could pose some challenges for the sector.
"The target is not too high to achieve. In the wake of increasing downward pressure and reduction in power supply and demand, the conflict between ideals and reality are more and more obvious," an official at a State-owned nuclear enterprise told the newspaper.
During the first three quarters, the average number of usage hours of nuclear power equipment rose 77.9 percent, compared with 84.95 percent a year ago, according to a report released by the China Nuclear Energy Association at the end of last month.
Besides an equipment overhaul, some nuclear power generation units reduced power or halted temporarily according to power grid requirements, the report said. The utilization of Liaoning Hongheyan nuclear power station's No 3 power generation unit was only 57.6 percent.
In addition, the pace of approval of nuclear projects has slowed this year, and there have been no new approved nuclear power generation units so far, the newspaper said.
The plan didn't say more about the inland nuclear facilities that received a lot of attention. The newspaper said it is not likely to see inland nuclear projects under construction during the 13th Five-Year Plan period.
Compared with other types of energy, safety is the top priority for nuclear energy, including the safety of equipment, management and the site of a plant.