Construction of infrastructure for the Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant (YNPP) began recently in the coastal city of Yangjiang in Guangdong Province.
"This initial building work at the YNPP is preparation for the construction of the main part of the nuclear power plant," according to He Yu, general manager of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group.
"More than 2.5 billion yuan has, so far, been spent on infrastructure for the project," He was quoted as saying by Xinhua News Agency.
The nuclear island project, which will be the country's biggest nuclear power plant, will cost more than $8 billion.
The nuclear island's major equipment, including digital meters and control systems, will be made locally in China, He said.
Large-scale construction is expected to begin within a year, He said.
The first phase of the YNPP is expected to be ready for commercial operation in 2013. It will generate more than 30 billion kilowatt-hours of power annually for the province in a bid to ease supply pressure.
Guangdong's electricity supply gap is estimated at around 30 percent this year. The province's electricity consumption peak period usually takes place from May to September annually.
The YNPP is located in Dongping of Yangdong County in Guangdong's western coastal area. It will have six generating units in operation, each with production capacity of 1 million kilowatts, when the second phase is completed. Four generating units will be constructed in the first phase.
The YNPP is one of several nuclear power plants being constructed and planned in the southern Chinese province.
Guangdong has stepped up efforts to produce more nuclear power during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-10) by expediting existing projects at the construction and pre-construction stages.
The Ling'ao Nuclear Power Plant is scheduled to complete its second phase and come onstream by the end of 2010.