A political adviser at this year’s two sessions has called for nuclear power to play a more significant role in China’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. According to Lu Tiezhong, assistant general manager of China National Nuclear Corp and a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, boosting the utilization of nuclear power in energy-intensive sectors, such as petrochemicals, steel, heating, seawater desalination, and isotope production, will help drive China’s green energy transition.
Lu suggested the use of high-temperature gas-cooled reactors as an integrated energy solution for industrial steam, hydrogen, and electricity used in multiple industries. One such reactor can provide 3,600 metric tons of high-temperature steam per hour, which, when matched with thermal-chemical hydrogen production plants, can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3.42 million tons compared to traditional thermal power units.
In addition to providing a stable and reliable source of clean energy, nuclear power can also support the petrochemical industry’s dual challenges of ensuring a stable supply and carrying out clean and low-carbon transformation.
While acknowledging the importance of safety in advancing nuclear technologies, Lu also suggested the application of nuclear power in provinces that are developing solar and wind power on a large scale as a base load power supply to support steady power output and utilize renewable energy sources.
Ultimately, the development of China’s nuclear power sector should be evaluated not only in terms of the number of units and scale but also in the advances of nuclear technology and green transition, said Lu.