>> The start of another chilly winter amid smog choked skies is prompting China to take action. This year, Beijing has ordered many factories to curb or completely stop production. And telling millions of people in the north to use gas heating, not coal. All in a bid to cut pollution, but that energy gamble isn't working.
Heating costs are soaring as natural gas supplies dwindle. As Reuters's David Stanway reports from Shanghai, the government is now actively looking at nuclear power as an alternative.>> So the nuclear firms are saying, look, we have a available solution here. Why not build a district heating reactor that can provide clean, zero emission heating to 200,000 households per unit?
At the moment, what the nuclear power firms are saying what they can just plug in these heating reactors, directly into the heating system. So, basically, they'll be plugged into an existing urban residential heating system that pumps steam throughout thousands of households.>> China state-owned nuclear sector is convinced, this is the answer.
But the government still faces problems.>> The fixed costs, the investment costs, of building these reactors is going to be pretty high, it's going to be 1.5 billion MMB per unit. The other issue is going to be public acceptance and the government has acknowledged that this is a really serious challenge.
Not just for these heating reactors, but for all kinds of nuclear projects. The people just don't trust this technology at the moment.>> China is already pumping billions of Yuan into nuclear expansion, but for the people living through an icy beginning to winter, these heating reactors won't be a quick fix.
Experts say it will take at least five years for each project to be tested, approved, and installed.>>