Hunan to get 'first inland nuke' station

By Xiao Wan (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-07-25 06:50

China's nuclear power facilities are spreading inland from its coastal region as the country speeds up its eco-friendly power development.

The first inland nuclear plant, according to industry experts, is likely to be set up near Yiyang City in Central China's Hunan Province on the bank of Taohuajiang, or Peach Blossom River.

The feasibility study for the project was completed last year, and once built, the Yiyang plant will be generating 4,000 megawatts (MW) of nuclear power, or 10 percent of the country's total nuclear capacity by 2020.

But Hunan may not be the only inland province to have a nuclear power plant. Anhui, Hubei and Sichuan, where land is being surveyed for such plants, may join it. Provincial governments are even ready to provide some of the funds for the projects.

China's technology has matured enough to generate nuclear energy in its inland areas "so long as the site is safe and environmental protection is guaranteed," says Han Xiaoping, chief information officer of, a top energy website in the country.

A source close to the Hunan project, who declined to be named, said: "China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the country's largest nuclear reactor builder, expects to start work on the project in the next three to five years."

Earlier this year, CNNC entered into a joint venture, Hunan Taohuajiang Nuclear Power Ltd, with Hong Kong-based China Resources, China Three Gorges Project Corporation and Hunan Xiangtou Holdings Group.

Preparation for the project is "going on smoothly, although the development timetable is still to be set by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)", the source said.

The Taohuajiang project will reportedly be divided into two phases, each designed to generate 2,000 MW.

China sees nuclear power as a clean, alternative solution to its growing energy demand. It has decided to shift its nuclear power generation from the so-called appropriate, more cautious model to accelerate development, according to the nation's 11th Five-Year Plan for the nuclear industry.

The country has 11 nuclear power reactors, all of them in its economically thriving east and southeast coasts. In 2006, nuclear power accounted for 1.1 percent of its total installed power capacity, according to State Electricity Regulatory Commission data.

(China Daily 07/25/2007 page2)

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