The nation's biggest nuclear reactor builder, China National Nuclear Corp, expects to start building the country's first inland nuclear power facility within three to five years in the central province of Hunan.
The Beijing-based nuclear power firm has selected Taohuajiang, about 100 kilometres from the province's capital Changsha, to construct rectors with a single capacity of about 600 MW (megawatts), a China Nuclear official told China Daily yesterday.
"We expect to complete the preliminary work as soon as possible, but the final timetable is to be set by the State Council and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)," said the company official, who declined to be named.
China Nuclear last Thursday set up an office in Hunan to conduct preparatory work for the nuclear plant.
The official said it was technically viable to build a 600-MW reactor in land-locked regions.
Nuclear reactors set up in coastal areas have a bigger capacity, of about 1,000 MW.
The Hunan plant will draw water from a branch of the Yangtze River, the nation's biggest river, China Nuclear said.
By using home-grown rather than overseas technology, it will cost less in terms of unit capacity to build the 600-MW reactors than the 1,000-MW ones, the official said.
China now has 10 nuclear electricity generators in commercial operation, with a total capacity of about 8,000 MW.