China will start building its first floating nuclear power plant in 2019. A floating nuclear power plant is a marine platform carrying a scaled-down or minuscule nuclear reactor to power islets and offshore drilling platforms that may otherwise have little or no access to the onshore grid supply. Analysts have associated these novel marine nuclear power stations with Beijing’s initiatives to militarize and “colonize” the South China Sea and turn its vast waters into a Chinese lake…
Mobile nuclear reactors could power the many man-made islands being created in the South China Sea, while transmitting electricity from the mainland would be expensive and conventional diesel generators could not meet the demand amid an expanding population of soldiers, constructors and residents….Observers say that as many as 20 floating nuclear stations could be needed across the South China Sea for new chunks of land created on reefs and shoals, especially in the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos that are subject to conflicting territorial claims by China and Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan. These reactors can also sail and power the many Chinese drilling platforms in the ocean to expedite the exploitation of oil, natural gas as well as “combustible ice,” a frozen mixture of water and concentrated natural gas found on the sea floor.
Exerpts from Ocean-going nuclear plants for South China Sea, Asia Times, Mar. 2019
China’s first marine nuclear power platform is sponsored by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, which began the R&D process in 2014. Military analyst Shi Hong explains the technology….”A marine nuclear power platform is a floating nuclear power plant, built on a mobile platform on the ocean…It can provide energy for ocean water purification and electricity generation on islands….”Marine nuclear power platforms can also provide safe and reliable energy for oceanic oil exploration.
Shi Hong says beyond serving civil functions, the technology also has military applications.“The development of such nuclear power platforms can present new opportunities for war ships…”Two construction plans have been drawn up by the developer. One is for a power plant built on a mobile platform in the ocean. The other is for a submersible plant that can operate below the ocean surface under harsh conditions.
Excerpt from China to Build First Marine Nuclear Power Platform, CRIENGLISH.com , Jan 10, 2016