Amid continued tensions in the South China Sea, China is reportedly working on plans for floating nuclear power stations.
According to official Chinese news sources, the country is in the early stages of developing a powerful new ship that will be fitted with a nuclear power station.
The ship is expected to be launched in 2019 and could potentially be fully active by 2020.
China is building the massive ship to provide electricity to its islands, including its man-made outposts in the contested waters of the South China Sea.
A spokesman for the China National Nuclear Corporation said: “Normally, we burn oil for power, but the problem with the fuel is that the cost is not only high, but sometimes you have to transport it in a long distance.”
The spokesman added: “Nuclear power, however, is cost-effective and the fuel only needs to be recharged every year-and-a-half.”
Naval Expert Li Jie said: “The nuclear-powered vessels can travel further with more reliable fuel, compared with conventional ships.”
Experts have also said that commercial development in the South China Sea can be quickly ‘ramped-up,’ creating power to large cities and the country’s controversial military complexes.
Reports coming out of China say that more than one of the floating nuclear plant stations are being built. Some say they can be commercially produced and completed on demand.
Even after the Hague tribunal, China is continuing to bolster its presence in the region.
Sources say many commercial structures, resorts, hospital and even farms are being built on many of the tiny islands of the South China Sea.
China is not the first to produce a floating nuclear power plant. Russia has created a working model that is considered the first of its kind.