China is expected to start work on four nuclear power stations in 2009, according to a senior government official.
The four power stations are in Haiyang, Rongcheng in eastern Shandong province, Sanmen in eastern Zhejiang province, and Yaogu in southern Guangdong province, Zhang Guobao, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in an article published in People's Daily Tuesday.
"To further boost the development of nuclear power is an important measure for China to restructure its energy mix," said Zhang, who is also head of the National Energy Administration.
Compared with coal-fired power, which now accounts for over two-thirds of the country's power generation, nuclear energy is more energy-efficient and environment-friendly, he said.
The Haiyang and Sanmen stations will use the AP1000 technology, a third-generation nuclear power technology. China last year signed an agreement with a consortium lead by the US-based Westinghouse Electric Co to build four 1,000-megawatt reactors in the two stations.
The Yaogu station in Guangdong will also use the third-generation technology, developed by the French nuclear company Areva. China last year signed an 8 billion euro agreement with Areva for the construction of two 1,700-megawatt reactors.
The Rongcheng station, developed by China Huaneng Group, will use the high-temperature, gas-cooled technology.
Huaneng had earlier said construction work on the 200 megawatt capacity plant would start in September next year. It is scheduled to start operations in 2013.
Analysts said construction of nuclear projects is an effective way to boost domestic demand, as they require large amount of investment and can boost many industries such as steel and cement.
China National Nuclear Corp, China's largest nuclear company, on Monday signed agreements with eight domestic banks, under which the company got bank facilities of 350 billion yuan.
The company has also signed agreements with 10 banks for 11.8-billion-yuan loans in 2009.
(China Daily 12/31/2008 page13)