CHINA - World’s First Fourth-Generation Reactor

Arno Froese

China has started commercial operations at a new generation nuclear reactor that is the first of its kind in the world, state media said.

Compared with previous reactors, the fourth generation Shidaowan plant in China’s northern Shandong province is designed to use fuel more efficiently and improve its economics, safety and environmental footprint as China turns to nuclear power to try to meet carbon emissions goals.

Xinhua news agency also said the 200 megawatt (MW) high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor (HTGCR) plant developed jointly by state-run utility Huaneng, Tsinghua University and China National Nuclear Corporation, uses a modular design.

Modular plants refer to those of less than 300MW that can be constructed off site. Proponents say they can operate in remote locations and power traditionally hard-to-abate heavy industry sectors, but critics say they are too expensive.

NuScale Power, previously expected to be the first U.S. company licensed to build a small modular reactor, said it was terminating a planned 462MW project in Utah because of rising costs.

China has a goal to produce 10% of electricity from nuclear by 2035 and 18% by 2060, but as of September this year had not met its 2020 target to install 58 gigawatts of nuclear capacity.

China has also not signed a pledge by 20 countries at the COP28 climate conference taking place in Dubai to triple nuclear power capacity by 2050.

-www.reuters.com, 6 December 2023

Arno's Commentary

It is no longer a surprise when one reads of China’s goal to be the world’s leading nation when it comes to nuclear energy. Several years ago, the Chinese president specifically encouraged his people to aim for high-tech.

Observing China, we see similarities to the nation of Japan. They were once known for copying successful products. They did so with passenger vehicles, which in the 1970s were considered inferior. Today, Japan’s auto industry is superior.

How does this relate to Bible prophecy in particular? We reiterate, equality is the key to unity. Today, the nations of the world are intertwined; every nation depends on others to a certain degree. At this point in time, the financial market looks somewhat worrisome toward China, since their economic growth has significantly slowed down when compared to previous decades.

But globalism marches on: Statista.com shows that in 2014, 5,101 container ships sailed the oceans with cargo; for 2022, the number rose to 5,589. Research confirms that the total worldwide fleet of commercial aircraft stands at 28,674. They fly with passengers and cargo 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, exchanging people and merchandise across the globe. Unless something unexpected like Covid-19 occurs, we may expect this type of global cooperation to increase.

For Christians, we do well to read Isaiah 40:17: “All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.” It does not matter who does what, when, and where; the Lord calls the nations “less than nothing.” Yet hidden is the Church. Millions upon millions are being added to the body of Christ from around the world, particularly in Asia and Africa these days.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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