China's first nuclear power plant's expansion in progress

HAIYAN, CHINA - Workers began pouring the foundation for the last of the two new generating units planned as an addition to the first phase of the Qinshan nuclear power plant in Fangjiashan, Haiyan, on the northern coast of Hangzhou Bay, Zhejiang Province.

The nuclear power plant, not far from Shanghai, is the first Chinese facility of its kind.

Its expansion project, with an investment of 26 billion yuan (about 3.82 billion US dollars), is one of the first group of large infrastructure items approved for construction by the State Council in the latter half of last year as a way to combat the global financial meltdown, said Qinshan Nuclear Power Company Limited of China National Nuclear Corporation, the developer.

The expansion requires installation of two pressurized reactors, and each will have an installed capacity of 1 million kilowatts. Concrete pouring for the first reactor facility was done on December 26, 2008.

The two generating units will be operational by 2013 and 2014. And electricity produced by the two units will be used to power economic development in the Yangtze River Delta, according to the company.

The first phase of Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant was the first nuclear power plant on the Chinese mainland built by domestic engineers. Construction of the plant began in 1985. It was built with a 300,000 kilowatt prototype reactor with a lifespan of 30 years. It started generating power in 1991 and has so far produced 34 billion kw/hour of electricity.

The plant also has second and third phases.

Chinese engineers have installed two generating units in the second phase and have been adding two more there.

The third phase houses two Canadian CANDU heavy-water reactors.

According to the country's long and mid-term development plan of nuclear power plants, China's nuclear power installed capacity will reach 40 million kw by 2020 and will generate 260-280 billion kwh electricity each year, accounting for 4 per cent and 6 per cent of the country's total.

China has nuclear power stations with 11 generating sets and an installed capacity of nine million kw. These generating units are with three phases of Qinshan, and Daya Bay, Lingao, both in Guangdong province, as well as Tianwan in Lianyungang, east China's Jiangsu Province.



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