FT.com / World / Asia-Pacific – China to pioneer ?pebble bed? N-reactor: “China is poised to develop the world’s first commercially operated ?pebble bed? nuclear reactor after a Chinese energy consortium chose a site in the eastern province of Shandong to build a 195MW gas-cooled power plant.

An official representing the consortium, led by Huaneng, one of China’s biggest power producers, said the proposed reactor could start producing electricity within five years.

If successfully commercialised, the pebble bed reactor would be the first radically new reactor design for several decades. It would push China to the forefront of development of a technology that researchers claim offers a new ?meltdown-proof? alternative to standard water-cooled nuclear power stations.”

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