China is developing a new vessel-installed nuclear power station.
China is currently developing a new vessel-installed nuclear power station, the ChinaDaily information website reported.
The ship, estimated to be complete by 2018 and fully operational by 2019, would potentially be able to provide a source of electricity to isolated locations in the sea, including the highly contested South China Sea.
“Normally, we burn oil for power, but the problem with the fuel is that the cost is not only high but sometimes you have to transport it in a long distance,” the Chief Engineer of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), Lei Zengguang told ChinaDaily. “Nuclear power, however, is cost-effective and the fuel only needs to be recharged every year-and-a-half,” he noted.
According to experts, this newly-found source of power would allow the country to ramp up commercial development in the South China Sea by providing power to airports, defense facilities, harbors, and lighthouses.
Lei Zengguang did not tell how many of these vessels will be constructed and where they will be deployed. He pointed out that everything would depend on market demand.