The first unit of the Hongyanhe nuclear power station, the first nuclear power plant and largest energy project in Northeast China, went into commercial operation on June 6, the plant announced on Friday.
It increased the number of the nuclear power units operating on the Chinese mainland to 17, with a total installed capacity of 14.77 million kilowatts, said Hu Guangyao, spokesperson of the China General Nuclear Power Group. Hu said this unit can generate 26 million kilowatt-hours of electricity everyday, which can meet the annual electricity needs of 6,000 families.
Located at Wafangdian of Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning province, the plant is 270 km from Shenyang to the north and 110 km from Dalian to the south. It is jointly invested by the China General Nuclear Power Group, the China Power Investment Corporation, and the Dalian Construction Investment Group.
According to Yu Changliang, vice-general manager of the plant, the Hongyanhe plant will construct six million-kilowatt-level pressurized water reactor units. The construction of the first phase of the project, which features four units with total investment of 53.5 billion yuan ($8.72 billion), began in August 2007 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
By then, the four units will generate more than 30 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, accounting for 104 percent of the total electricity consumption of Dalian or one sixth of Liaoning province in 2012. Compared with the same scale of coal-fired power plants, the four units can reduce about 10 million tons of coal consumption every year, reducing the emission of 24 million tons of carbon dioxide, 230,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, and 150,000 tons of nitrogen oxides.
"The environmental effect is equivalent to one third of the forest area of the Changbai Mountain in Northeast China," said Hu Guangyao. Currently, the China General Nuclear Power Group has eight nuclear power units on commercial operation with a total installed capacity of 8.33 million kilowatts.
Fourteen units with a total installed capacity of 16.64 million kilowatts are under construction, ranking first in the world, according to Hu. Hu introduced that all the group’s nuclear power plants respond positively to the public concerns about nuclear safety by establishing nuclear and radiation safety information platform, regularly holding press conferences, and inviting people to visit the plants to make the public know more about nuclear power.