The first nuclear power plant in northeast China started operation yesterday, Xinhua news agency reported.
The first unit of the Hongyanhe nuclear power station, also the largest energy project in the region, went into operation at 3:09pm, Xinhua reported, citing Yang Xiaofeng, general manager of Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co.
The station, near Wafangdian City in Liaoning Province, was jointly developed by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, China Power Investment Corp and Dalian Construction Investment Group Co, according to the company Web site.
Calls to Hongyanhe and China Guangdong Nuclear’s general offices were unanswered outside of normal business hours yesterday.
China’s State Council approved a nuclear power safety plan and a development schedule for the industry in October last year, effectively lifting a ban on new projects in place since an earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in Japan in 2011.
The world’s largest energy consumer is seeking to more than triple its nuclear power capacity to 40 million kilowatts in 2015 from 12.54 million kilowatts at the end of 2011, according to a government white paper released on Oct. 24 last year.
The Hongyanhe project includes six generation units, according to its Web site. The installation of the first four, at a cost of 50 billion yuan (US$8 billion), is expected to be complete by the end of 2015, Xinhua reported, citing Yang.
The units will be able to generate 30 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, according to the Web site.
Separately, China started construction of a 3 billion yuan nuclear power reactor in December last year, Xinhua said on Jan. 6.
The reactor, at Shidao Bay in Shandong Province, will start generating power by the end of 2017 and have a capacity of 200 megawatts, Xinhua said, quoting the operator of the plant, Huaneng Shandong Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Co.