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Chinas investments in non-coal power are, near as I can tell, driven by firstly: public health concerns (coal pollution kills an insane number of chinese, and is bad enough to cause outright political unrest) and secondly constraints on infrastructure - The coal mines are in the interior, the cities are on the coast, and the railroads moving coal from one to the other are overloaded as all hell, which means that any significant further expansion of coal power on the coast has the additional cost of more rail lines to pay for. Hence the ever escalating investments in wind and nuclear power.  - Note that any way I run the numbers, nuclear-in-china has to have lower production costs per kwh than anything-else-in-china, which implies that the only reason they are not building even more plants than they currently are is because they do not have the qualified personnel available to do so, and are unwilling to cut too many corners on safety, which is somewhat reassuring.  
by Thomas on Sat Feb 6th, 2010 at 08:01:45 AM EST

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