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Lifespan of nuclear power plant prolonged
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Major repair work on the first phase of the Qinshan nuclear power plant, the first Chinese facility of its kind which began operation in 1991, was completed on Saturday.


The overhaul has enormously improved the reliability and safety of the reactor and has amassed precious experience for the operating, repairing and upgrading of other nuclear power plants in China, said He Xiaojian, general manager of Qinshan Nuclear Power Company of China National Nuclear Power Corporation.


The plant was hooked off the East China power grid for fuel change and a technical overhaul on Oct. 28, 2007.


Ouyang Yu, designer-in-chief of the Qinshan nuclear power plant, said the completion of the overhaul would help prolong the lifespan of the nuclear power plant.


The first phase of Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant is located at Haiyan, on the northern coast of Hangzhou Bay, Zhejiang Province. It is the first nuclear power plant on the Chinese mainland, designed and 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.


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


Operators of the plant plan to add two more pressurized reactors -- the application of the most sophisticated and widely accepted nuclear power technology in the world. Each generating unit will have an installed capacity of one million kilowatts.


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.


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 there.


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


(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2008)


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