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Nuclear Plant Achieves Milestone

The No 1 generating set of the second phase of Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant in East China's Zhejiang Province started to generate electricity yesterday, marking the maturity of China's first self-designed commercial-use nuclear plant.

The generating set, with a designed capacity of 600,000 kilowatts, began to transmit power to the national electricity grid yesterday in Haiyan, Zhejiang Province, 23 days ahead of the schedule.

"It is a milestone in the construction of the second phase of Qinshan nuclear power plant and in the history of China's utilization of atomic energy," said Yun Hongzhi, an official with the Department of Nuclear Power of China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC).

Yun said the move means that the second phase of China's biggest State-owned nuclear power plant has moved into the operational phase from the construction phase.

The formal operation will also prove China's ability to design, build and manage its own nuclear plant and will greatly promote the commercial use of atomic power, according to Yun.

The No 1 generating set, one of the two sets of the second phase, is expected to run for commercial purpose after June, when it reaches its full capacity.

The No 2 set, with the same capacity, will start to generate power in December,.

Investment in the second phase project amounted to 14.8 billion yuan (US$1.78 billion). The designed capacity of the second phase is 1.2 million kilowatts and is expected to last for 40 years.

When the project is completed, Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant will have an installed capacity of 1.5 million kilowatts and is expected to boost the operations of the loss-making CNNC.

Wang Binghua, deputy general manager of the solely State-owned CNNC, said the company would begin to make profits this year with more sales of electricity generated by nuclear plants.

Last year, the company reduced its losses 30 percent, or by about 140 million yuan (US$16.9 million), from the previous year.

Power sales from the first phase of the Qinshan plant reached 800 million yuan (US$96.7 million).

The company said the No 1 generating set of the third phase of Qinshan would also start operation at the end of this year.

(China Daily February 7, 2002)

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