Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 05/2014

Spin-On for the Renaissance? The Current State of China's Nuclear Industry

Jing-dong Yuan

September 2010

Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California


China’s nuclear industry has undergone rapid growth in recent years and is projected to further expand in the coming decades. Accounting for almost 40 percent of all nuclear reactors either under construction or that have been approved globally, the expansion of China’s nuclear capacities has largely been driven by increasing demands for energy to support continued economic growth. Constraints include human resources, fuel supply, and the extent to which China can develop indigenous nuclear power capacities. The role of civil–military integration in this industry is yet to be determined partly as a result of the deliberate decision by Beijing to keep its nuclear weapons segment separate from its civilian operations.