China’s government programs have helped the economy and exchange traded funds (ETFs) in the short run. But China is also looking to the future and has come up with an ambitious nuclear energy program that will produce more electricity with the added benefit of reducing greenhouse emissions.
China’s civilian nuclear power industry boasts 11 reactors, and they are planning on constructing as many as 10 new reactors each year, reports Keith Bradsher for The New York Times. The country has shown foresight in seeking international aid in training nuclear inspectors for their rapid nuclear expansion. [China’s economy and ETF at a crossroads].
China also needs to maintain safeguards on nuclear materials and it may prove difficult in an national business culture that puts cost-cutting, profits and even corruption above quality and safety. For instance, the Chinese government recently detained the president of China National Nuclear Corporation, Kang Rixin, for questioning in a $260 million corruption case involving allegations of bid-rigging in reactor construction.
Western experts point to China’s state-owned Guangdong Nuclear reactor as an example of a safely-run nuclear plant. The reactor has even won international awards for its safety record.
Currently, China’s nuclear reactors yield around 9 gigawatts of power at full capacity, generating 2.47% of total electricity output. The government will soon announce a target of 70 gigawatts of capacity by 2020, producing 9.7% of total electricity output, and 400 gigawatts by 2050, according to Jian Kejun, energy policy director at the National Development and Reform Commission. [Ways to play the nuclear energy shift].