China 'achieves breakthrough' in developing NUCLEAR aircraft carrier that could operate at sea for DECADES without refuelling
- China is reportedly planning one carrier as it eyes to rival U.S. in navy power
- One expert claimed in state media that the project has achieved a breakthrough
- Nuclear-powered reactors can run for up to 50 years without needing refuelling
- The carrier is a part of Chinese navy's plan to go further and stay longer overseas
Beijing is planning to build a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to 'safeguard national interests', according to Chinese state media.
One Chinese aircraft carrier expert was quoted saying that the country has achieved a breakthrough in nuclear-powered carriers.
The same expert said the development of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is 'very necessary' and it could help China rival the U.S. navy in technology.
The U.S. has 10 active aircraft carriers - the largest fleet in the world - while its main military rivals, Russia and China, only has one active carrier each, according to a report by Reuters last year.
According to the World Nuclear Association, nuclear-powered reactors could run for up to 50 years without needing refuelling, which means nuclear-powered ships or submarines could remain at sea for long periods of time.
The Chinese nuclear-powered carrier is being planned by the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, according to China's Huanqiu.com, an affiliation to People's Daily.
The news website also shared two pictures provided by web users. The pictures show what China's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier could look like.
State-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corp said in an online press release on Tuesday that it would 'accelerate the process of building a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier', reported Huanqiu.com. This is the first time China has ever revealed its plan of a nuclear carrier.
The statement also claimed that the nuclear carrier is a part of Chinese navy's plan to operate further and longer overseas by 2025.
Currently, the nuclear-powered fleet carriers owned by the U.S. are without rival in the world. U.S. nuclear carriers such as the Navy's Nimitz class can operate for 20 years without refuelling.