Workers prepare for the construction of the Fangjiashan nuclear power plant in Qinshan, Zhejiang province. The multibillion-yuan plant will have two 1,000-megawatt reactors. [China Daily]
Construction of the 26-billion-yuan ($3.80 billion) Fangjiashan nuclear power plant started officially on Friday in East China's Zhejiang province, as the country's rapid acceleration in nuclear power construction continues to pick up steam.
With two 1,000-megawatt reactors, the project is an expansion of the Qinshan plant, China's first and most important nuclear power plant.
They will start operation in 2013 and 2014, respectively, according to China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC), developer and operator of the Fangjiashan project.
The project will further improve energy structure in Zhejiang and the Yangtze River Delta, and will enable the region to cut pollution significantly, said He Xiaojian, general manager of CNNC Qinshan Nuclear Power Co.
Once the project goes into operation, there will be a total of nine nuclear reactors under operation in Qinshan, with total capacity of 6,300 megawatts, said He.
At present there are five nuclear reactors in operation, and two 600-megawatt reactors under construction in Qinshan.
CNNC is developing other nuclear projects in Zhejiang besides Qinshan. The company's Sanmen nuclear power plant, which will use third-generation technology from US-based Westinghouse, will start construction next year.
The two Fangjiashan reactors will apply second-generation nuclear power technology, which is used in most nuclear reactors now under operation in China.
CNNC is also planning nuclear projects in provinces such as Liaoning, Anhui, Hunan and Hainan.
"Construction of nuclear power projects is an effective way to increase domestic demand," said Li Jinying, an official with CNNC. "They can help boost many industries such as steel, cement and machinery."
China's top economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission, said in November that in order to boost domestic demand, a series of large energy projects will start construction in the next year, including three nuclear power plants with a total of 10 reactors.
These are the Fangjiashan plant in Zhejiang, Yangjiang plant in South China's Guangdong and Fuqing plant in Fujian. Construction of the 100-billion-yuan Fuqing plant and 70-billion-yuan Yangjiang plant started earlier in November and December.
China's nuclear power industry has seen accelerated development in recent years. The country planned to increase its nuclear power capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2020, which would account for 4 percent of the nation's total power capacity.