China has announced plans to build a floating nuclear power plant, and wants it to be seaworthy by 2020, according to Shanghai List. The ship, known by the unwieldy moniker ACPR50S, would be a 200MW floating nuclear reactor designed to support expeditions to coastal areas or as an emergency power source in case of a disaster, natural or otherwise.
The initiative is part of China’s 13th five-year-plan, one of many policies designed to develop the country into a true global superpower, and has already been approved by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission.
The ACPR50S is just one small part of China’s nuclear power strategy, with over one hundred static reactors set for construction across the country over the next ten years, averaging seven new power plants per year at a total cost of around $7 billion (USD). By the end of this cycle, China will be producing 350GW of electricity from nuclear power.
While not the first seabound nuclear reactor – the US Navy has over a hundred nuclear vessels – the ACPR50S is set to be the first used to generate power for the mainland. The Russians, however, may get the jump on China, with its own floating nuclear reactor – the Akademik Lomonosov – currently under construction, and is expected to be completed in 2017.