China builds third generation nuclear reactors

April 20th, 2009 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Zhejiang (China), April 20 (Xinhua) China Sunday started the construction of its Sanmen Nuclear Power Plant in collaboration with US-based Westinghouse in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang.
The plant will be built in three phases, with an investment of about 40 billion yuan ($5.88 billion) in the first phase.

The two pressurised water reactors to be built in the first phase will generate 1.25 mn kw each.

The first reactor will be put into operation in 2013, and the second in 2014. The plant will have six reactors.

“It is the biggest energy cooperation project between China and the US,” said Zhang Guobao, head of the National Energy Administration.

China launched bidding for the Sanmen nuclear power plant in 2003. Foreign companies including Westinghouse, France’s Areva and Russia’s AtomStroyExport participated in the process.

Westinghouse became the winner after China signed a memo with the US on the introduction and transfer of third-generation nuclear power technologies in December 2006.

The agreement was signed between China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation and Westinghouse in July 2007.

Two of the four pressurised water reactors will be installed in Sanmen, while two others will be installed in Haiyang City in eastern Shandong province.

China presently has 11 nuclear reactors at its six nuclear power plants, all on the east coast, with a combined installed capacity of 9.07 mn kw.

To meet its fast economic growth, China plans to develop more nuclear power. The country plans to have 40 mn kw of installed nuclear capacity by 2020.

Speaking at Sunday’s inauguration ceremony of the first-phase project of the Sanmen Nuclear Power Plant, Chinese vice premier Li Keqiang has called for more efforts to develop new energy to ensure the country’s energy security and boost economic growth.

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