The Diplomat: Plans for South China Sea Nuclear Power Plants

Environmentalists express concerns about a floating nuclear power plant, the Akademik Lomonosov, dispatched by Russia in late April to the Arctic. China also plans as many as 20 floating nuclear reactors in the South China Sea: “In 2016, two major Chinese state-owned nuclear suppliers, the China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), announced a plan to jointly develop the first Chinese nuclear power barge for deployment in the South China Sea by 2020,” writes Viet Phuong Nguyen. “These reactors would not only provide much-needed electricity or desalinated water for the islands controlled by China, but also support oil and gas exploration by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation.” China has also has 39 land-based plants with 18 more planned. Boundaries in the South China Sea are in dispute, and Nguyen details safety risks for China and Southeast Asian countries. Varying technologies combined with low numbers of staff who are under-paid could pose operational risks. Heavy maritime traffic and harsh weather add challenges, too. Procedures allowing neighboring countries to assess safety standards are lacking as the Convention on Nuclear Safety focuses on land-based plants. Nguyen urges more communication among neighboring states and nuclear powers. – YaleGlobal

The Diplomat: Plans for South China Sea Nuclear Power Plants

Floating nuclear power plants in the South China Sea would pose safety hazards for China and Southeast Asia
Viet Phuong Nguyen
Friday, May 11, 2018

Read the article about floating nuclear power plants from the Diplomat.

Viet Phuong Nguyen is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), where he got his PhD in nuclear engineering. Dr. Nguyen’s research focuses on issues related to civil nuclear cooperation, nuclear security, and nuclear nonproliferation.

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