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Four nuclear power plants to start in China by 2014

Updated: 25 Dec 2009
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A Velan Inc RCP 1212 connecting valve at a worker's training room in Daya Bay, near Shenzhen. Nuclear power in China has undergone accelerated development in line with the country's goal of using cleaner energy sources
 
China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG), one of the country's two major nuclear power plant operators, plans to start operation of four plants between 2013 and 2014, the company said yesterday.

The four nuclear power projects are Taishan and Yangjiang nuclear power plants in Guangdong province, Fangchenggang plant in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and Ningde project in Fujian province. The first phase will include eight reactors being put into service.

CGNPG signed an agreement with China Nuclear Engineering Group on Wednesdfor the installation of the eight reactors, with a total value of 5.3 billion yuan, the two companies said in a joint statement.

Among them the Taishan project is China's first nuclear power plant that uses European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) technology. China and France signed an agreement in 2007 to use the technology developed by French nuclear company Areva.

The first phase of the Taishan project includes two reactors, with construction expected to be completed by the end of 2013, according to CGNPC. The project will generate 26 billion kWh of electricity annually.

Fangchenggang, Ningde and Yangjiang plants use second-generation technology.

China has chosen two third- generation nuclear power technologies to build six nuclear reactors in the country. Apart from the Taishan project, the country has chosen the AP1000 technology of US-based Westinghouse to build four reactors in Zhejiang and Shandong provinces.

Compared with conventional nuclear power plants, which use first- or second-generation technology, nuclear plants with third-generation technology are much safer and have a longer lifespan, said analysts.

Construction of three of the four AP1000 reactors has begun, according to the project builder, the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp.

Nuclear power in China has undergone accelerated development, in line with the country's goal of using cleaner energy sources.

"The sector will continue to see rapid growth over the next decade as it fits in well with China's strategy to build an environmentally friendly economy," said Han Xiaoping, chief information officer with China5e.com, a leading energy website in the country.

In 2005, China decided to increase its nuclear capacity to 40 gW, making up 4 percent of the country's total power capacity.

But with the rapid development of the sector, the target is reportedly raised to 70 gW.

At present, China has 11 nuclear reactors in operation. Nuclear power accounts for less than 2 percent of the country's total power capacity. 
 
SOURCE: China Daily
 
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