China's first nuclear power plant to undergo further expansion

2007-12-27 02:31:09 Xinhua English

HANGZHOU, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The first phase of the Qinshan nuclear power plant, the first Chinese facility of its kind, will add two additional generating units.

Xu Pengfei, deputy general manager of Qinshan Nuclear Power Company of China National Nuclear Power Corporation, said preparation for the construction had been going smoothly.

Two pressurized reactors -- the application of the most-sophisticated and widely-accepted nuclear power technology in the world -- would be installed at Fangjiashan, Haiyan, on the northern coast of Hangzhou Bay, Zhejiang Province, not far from Shanghai. Each generating unit would have an installed capacity of one million kilowatts.

"The expansion will be conducive to a sustainable development of the Qinshan nuclear power plant and will enable the plant to provide the Yangtze River Delta with more nuclear power," Xu said.

A panel of experts have passed a feasibility report on the two planned generating units. The State Environmental Protection Administration approved two other reports involving the environmental impact and location safety over the proposed expansion.

Xu added workers would start to dig holes for housing the two pressurized reactors in the first quarter of 2009. The entire construction would be finished in 2014.

The first phase of Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant was the first nuclear power plant on the Chinese mainland built independently 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.

The first phase of the plant, which has been suspended from power generation for a change of fuel on Oct. 28, would resume operation in January.

It has so far generated 31 billion kwh of electricity, and produced 9.6 billion yuan (about 1.28 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue and paid 1.8 billion yuan in tax.

The plant also has second and third phases.

Chinese engineers have installed two generating units in the second phase and have been preparing for adding at least two more generating units.

They have also installed two other heavy water reactors as generating units in cooperation with a Canadian company in the third phase.