China on track to becoming largest generator of nuclear power globally: Rio Tinto
China is on track to become the world's largest generator of nuclear power, a senior executive at British multinational metals and mining corporation Rio Tinto said.
Rio Tinto Energy general manager of markets and industry analysis Stephen Wilson said that China was currently about the eighth or ninth largest nuclear energy producer.
Wilson said that by the end of the decade, the emerging economic superpower was expected to leap to the number two position before overtaking the United States in the 2020s, producing 100 gigawatts of power, news.com.au reports.
"Their vision is to produce 400 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2050. That's been publicly stated by Chinese officials," Wilson told the Australian Institute of Energy national conference in Sydney on Monday.
"That's more than the whole world has got today. The growth in nuclear energy in China would come from new third generation power plants that produced electricity more cheaply than coal and gas plants in coastal China", he said.
"What we are looking at in China now is a situation where it is the very early stages of a very, very significant nuclear build program," Wilson said.
Despite the big buildup in nuclear power, Wilson said China, as well as India, would continue to rely heavily on coal for the bulk of its electricity needs and to keep up with growing demand, the report said.