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Nuclear Applications Helping China's Economy

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei speaking at China´s Tsinghua University. (Credit: AP)

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei this week met with Chinese governmental representatives in Beijing, and addressed students and faculty at the Tsinghua University in Beijing on nuclear power´s future.

"In the past two decades, China has transformed its economy, maintained unprecedented growth rates and lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty," Dr. ElBaradei said. "Nuclear technology has played a supportive role, and I am pleased that the IAEA has been able to make a small contribution."

The Director General noted that China now has ten reactors in operation and four under construction. China plans a more than five-fold expansion in its nuclear generating capacity for electricity production by 2020, expanding from the current 7.6 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts.

The Director General pointed out that China is a member of the IAEA´s International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles. INPRO works to ensure that the future needs of all countries, including developing countries, are considered when innovative nuclear systems are evaluated. The country also supports the ITER global nuclear fusion project.

In other fields as well - including medicine, agriculture, and industry - China is actively applying nuclear science and technology. "Nuclear and radiological applications are helping to raise Chinese standards of health, agriculture, industry and other sectors, often in collaboration with the IAEA," Dr. ElBaradei said.

Dr. ElBaradei was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Tsinghua University. The award was presented by Tsinghua President Gu Binglin. Tsinghua Vice President Xie Weihe hosted the award ceremony, which was attended by Professor Wang Dazhong, Honorary Chairman of the University Council, among other distinguished participants.

See Story Resources for the full text of his remarks in Beijing.

Last update: 27 July 2017