Report: China plans floating nuclear power plants for S. China Sea expansion

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China is looking to build nuclear power platforms to “sail” to remote areas and provide a stable power supply for its ongoing military and construction activities in the South China Sea, a report said.

China Shipbuilding Industry Corp is currently designing and building the platforms, according to a report by the Global Times, a tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.

Chinese development at Hughes Reef in the Union Banks, located in the northern Spratly Islands.
Chinese development at Hughes Reef in Spratly Islands.

The shipbuilding firm is “pushing forward the work,” said Liu Zhengguo, the head of its general office.

“The development of nuclear power platforms is a burgeoning trend,” Liu told the Global Times. “The exact number of plants to be built by the company depends on the market demand.”

In January, two Chinese state-owned energy companies, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), signed a strategic cooperation framework pact on offshore oil and nuclear power.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea as its territory while Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to parts of the waters through which about $5 trillion in trade is shipped every year.

Chinese naval expert Li Jie told the Global Times the floating nuclear platforms could power lighthouses, defense facilities, airports and harbors in the South China Sea. “Normally we have to burn oil or coal for power.”

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