China plans to built its first offshore nuclear power plant (NPP) by 2020 and the technical design of the future plant has already been completed, local media reported.

According to China Daily, the 719 Research Institute of China Shipbuilding Industry Corp is the general contractor of the project and it estimates that the construction of offshore nuclear power stations will result in a market worth tens of billions of dollars.

Marine NPPs, including floating and submarine ones, are capable of sailing to where they can be used for different needs, in particular for providing power supply to islands or drilling machinery for offshore oil and gas fields.

According to Han Xiaoping, chief information officer of China Energy Net Consulting Co, small nuclear reactors can provide cheap and sustainable electricity and after reaching the end of their service life they can be moved to isolated areas.

“Large nuclear reactors have high hydrological and geological requirements and safety has always been a major concern for local residents living nearby,” Han said as quoted by the media outlet.

According to him, one kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by an offshore nuclear plant is half as expensive as the same quantity generated by diesel for use by drilling platforms.

Analysts predict that demand for marine NPPs will be growing in China and will become an important part of China’s marine area infrastructure, the publication said. – Sputnik