Construction began on Thursday on northeast China's first nuclear power plant with the excavation of two large holes to house reactors in Liaoning Province.
It is expected that concrete pouring will start in September next year, according to the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Holdings Co. Ltd, one of the developers.
Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Plant, in Donggang Town of Wafangdian, 104 km north of Dalian City in Liaoning Province, will have six generating units, each with an installed capacity of one million kilowatts.
Two pressurized water reactor generators will be installed in first phase of construction.
The project, approved by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) last April, will cost 23 billion yuan (US$2.88 billion), to be shared by the China Power Investment Corporation, the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Holdings Co. Ltd and two Liaoning companies.
The Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co. Ltd, has been established for construction and operation of the Hongyanhe project.
The first phase will be put into commercial operation in 2012. It is expected to play an important role in efforts to rejuvenate the rust-belt in the northeast.
The government plans to increase its nuclear power installed capacity to 40 million kilowatts by 2020, accounting for 4 percent of the country's total, according to information from the NDRC.
(Xinhua News Agency July 1, 2006)