NE China's first nuclear power plant starts operation

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The Hongyanhe nuclear power station, the first nuclear power plant and largest energy project in northeast China, started operation on Sunday afternoon.

The plant's first unit went into operation at 3:09 p.m., said Yang Xiaofeng, general manager of Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co., Ltd.

Construction on the first phase of the project, which features four power generation units to be built at a cost of 50 billion yuan (7.96 billion U.S. dollars), began in 2007 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, said Yang.

The four units will generate 30 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electricity annually by then, accounting for 16 percent of the total electricity consumption in 2012 in Liaoning Province, Yang said.

Construction on the second phase of the project, which features two power generation units to be built with an investment of 25 billion yuan, started in May 2010 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, he said.

The power plant will generate 45 billion kwh of electricity after it is fully completed in 2016, he said.

The plant's construction is highly localized, with more than 80 percent of the parts and components it features being produced locally, Yang said.

It is also the first Chinese nuclear power plant to use seawater desalination technology to provide cooling water, he said.

The plant is located near the county-level city of Wafangdian, which is 110 km away from Dalian Port.

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