4th nuke plant in pipeline in Guangdong
South China's Guangdong Province is planning to construct its fourth nuclear power plant to help ease the power shortage in the nation's prosperous Pearl River Delta region.
The province is now busy selecting a site from four candidate places in Huilai County and Lufeng City in its eastern coastal part.
The electricity shortage in Guangdong Province this year is expected to exceed 3 million kilowatt hours or more than 10 per cent, due to its rapid economic growth.
And the situation would last several years in the future in Guangdong which lacks sufficient coal, crude oil and other energies to sustain its economic growth.
Guangdong has to purchase electricity from bordering Hong Kong and China's southwestern provinces.
A 40-person instruction group consisting of nuclear experts, designers and government officials have recently reconnoitred the four places and they will soon decide on the construction site, according to an executive from Guangdong Nuclear Power Co Ltd.
"All the sites have their advantages," Yu Jiechun, an executive from Guangdong Nuclear Power Co Ltd, said.
In addition to their good geographical location, all the four sites have enough fresh water supplies and enjoy advanced land and water transportation facilities, said Yu.
He believed construction of the new nuclear power plant would begin before 2010, and will contribute to Guangdong's rapid economic development.
But Yu refused to give more details on the new nuclear power plant.
Meanwhile, Guangdong is speeding up the preparation work for construction of the country's biggest nuclear power plant in its coastal city of Yangjiang.
The nuclear reactor of the Yangjiang plant will officially begin construction before 2006, said Yu.
And the infrastructural facility construction for the project has already been well under way on the construction site in Shahuai in Yangdong County.
Located in the western coastal area of Guangdong Province, Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant will include six generating units.
Each has an installed production capacity of 1 million kilowatts.
The first two generating units will be able to start operating before 2010, while the whole six generating units will come on stream in 15 to 20 years.
The project will be able to annually generate electricity of more than 45 billion kilowatt hours when all the six generating units start operation.
Covering an area of 472,485 square metres, construction of the nuclear power plant is estimated to cost more than US$8 billion.
It is, so far, the largest nuclear power plant on the Chinese mainland.
Guangdong will have an installed nuclear power production capacity of more than 12 million kilowatts after the Yangjiang plant starts full commercial operations.
And Guangdong's nuclear electricity will be able to represent more than 20 per cent of the province's total.
Currently fuel power accounts for the lion's share of Guangdong's electricity industry while nuclear power accounts for less than 10 per cent.
Yu said Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant is of great significance to Guangdong's economic growth, especially to economic construction of the western area of the Pearl River Delta region.
And the Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant will also help strengthen Guangdong's status as China's biggest nuclear power industrial production base.
By 2012, Guangdong will have an installed production capacity of nuclear power reaching eight million kilowatts, becoming the biggest nuclear production base in China.
Guangdong will be able to generate more than 50 per cent of the country's total nuclear electricity in 2012.
The country's other nuclear power production bases include Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, both in the eastern coastal areas.
Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant in Zhejiang Province, China's first nuclear power plant, started operations in 1991.
China has planned to have an installed nuclear power production capacity of more than 36 million kilowatts by 2020.
Now Guangdong has already two nuclear plants in operation. Daya Bay and Ling'ao nuclear power stations have a total installed capacity of four generating units, with 1 million kilowatts each.
The two power plants that are situated in eastern part of the Pearl River Delta started commercial operation in 1994 and 1995 respectively.
Most of the equipment and technologies of the Daya Bay and Ling'ao nuclear power plants, including the nuclear reactors, were imported from France, one of the world's giants in nuclear power industry.
And the US$4-billion Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant which has two 900,000-kilowatt generating units is also one of the largest Sino-foreign joint ventures on the Chinese mainland.
Guangdong Province holds 75 per cent of the stakes while its partner Hong Kong Nuclear Power Investment Corp Ltd has the remaining 25 per cent.