Beijing [China], Feb. 13: China will prioritize the development of a floating nuclear power platform in next five years in a bid to provide stable power to offshore projects and promote ocean gas exploitation, according to an official. According to People’s Daily online, Vice Director of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, Wang Yiren, told Science and Technology Daily that the Chinese authorities have already carried out research on relevant core technologies.
He said that the authorities have also worked on the standardization of maritime nuclear power plants, adding the development of the facility is a crucial part of the country’s five-year economic development plan running through 2020. According to Wang, a diesel generator is currently the main power source for China’s offshore operation and the diesel power is both inefficient and damaging to the environment. Developing a floating maritime nuclear power platform may solve these problems and facilitate the construction of larger vessels in the future.
China would not be the first country to employ floating nuclear power plants. In the 1960s, the U.S. installed a nuclear reactor inside the hull of a freighter to provide electricity for the Panama Canal Zone. Ever since, nuclear reactors have been used on U.S. and Russian ships to provide electrical power. The country is doing its own research on the project as well as seeking cooperation with Russia to hasten the process, said Wang.