China plans to build five nuclear power stations in the eastern and southern regions this year, the country's energy planner said in Beijing on Monday.
The five projects will be constructed in the coastal Zhejiang province, Shandong Province and southern Guangdong and Hainan provinces, the National Energy Administration (NEA) announced at a meeting on nuclear power application.
The construction of the Sanmen Nuclear Power Plant in Zhejiang has already begun Sunday.
It would be the first third-generation pressurized water reactor in the country using AP 1000 technologies developed by US-based Westinghouse, and also the first in the world using such technologies.
The first generating unit with a capacity of 1.25 million kw was expected to start operation in 2013. The plant will eventually have six such units.
"We will build more generating units with AP 1000 technologies and introduce them to inland provinces based on the construction and operation of the Sanmen project," said Sun Qin, vice head of NEA.
The first three inland nuclear power plants in Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces were likely to get approval for construction by the end of this year or early next year, the administration said.
Of the five projects scheduled for 2009, the Shandong Rongcheng Nuclear Power Plant, will begin its construction phase in September.
The project, with a generating capacity of 200,000 kW, will be domestically-designed and equipped with some fourth-generation nuclear reactor technologies, according to the NEA.
Details of the other three projects were not provided at the meeting.
At present, China's mainland has 11 nuclear reactors at six plants, all on the east coast, with a combined installed capacity of 9.07 million kW.
Of the 11 reactors, three use domestic technologies, two are equipped with Russian technology and four with French technologies, and two are Canadian designed. All the 11 reactors employ second-generation nuclear power technologies.
To meet its economic growth, the country planned to have 40 million kW of installed nuclear capacity on its mainland by 2020, which would be 4 percent of projected electricity supply capacity, or double the current level.