China will begin the development of its very own ‘floating nuclear plants’ by the year’s end. The state-owned China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) has said in a statement that there are no technical issues standing in the way.
Floating nuclear plants are a scaled-down or minuscule version of a nuclear reactor, and according to reports, China aims to use these reactors to power the many man-made islands being created in the South China Sea. These reactors can also sail and power the many Chinese drilling platforms in the ocean to expedite the exploitation of oil, natural gas as well as “combustible ice,” a frozen mixture of water and concentrated natural gas found on the sea floor.
It is estimated that the first floating nuclear power platform would cost 14 billion yuan (US$2.1 billion) and would become seaworthy and be commissioned in 2021.
Image – A model illustrating a floating nuclear power plant supplying electricity to drilling platforms. Photo: Weibo