A Russian-built nuclear power plant in East China is due to start full commercial operation of its second nuclear reactor in September, and two more blocks can be built there, the building contractor said yesterday.
Atomstroiexport, the contractor for the Russian atomic agency Rosatom, put into commercial operation the first reactor at Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant, Jiangsu Province, earlier this month.
The $1.6-billion plant has been under construction since September 2000.
Atomstroiexport officials said the company was keen to expand the capacity of the plant by adding two more reactors.
"To date, the second block has been running at 50 percent of its capacity," Atomstroiexport head Sergei Shmatko was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying.
"The successful launch of the first block into operation allows us and our Chinese clients to plan the launch of the second reactor for the end of September."
Each of the two already built reactors has a capacity of 1 gigawatt.
"Our dialogue with the Chinese clients on building the third and fourth reactors has significantly accelerated since the launch of the first block," Shmatko said.
"By the end of the year, the project of building the third and fourth blocks at Tianwan will be very clearly outlined."
Outside China, Atomstroiexport is currently building nuclear power plants in India, Iran and Bulgaria.
According to China's longer-term development plan for the nuclear power industry, its capacity will increase to 40 million kw by 2020, with construction work beginning on at least three generating units in each of the coming 10 years.
Currently, there are 10 commercial nuclear power generating units operational in China, including the No 1 unit at the Tianwan power station. Their combined installed capacity is 8 million kw.
The other nine units included Qinshan, Dayawan, and No 2 and 3 phases of Qinshan and Ling'ao. Four units are being built as the second phase of the Ling'ao project in South China's Guangdong Province and the second phase of the Qinshan project in Eastern China's Zhejiang Province.
Statistics show that China's nuclear industry generated 54.8 billion kWh of electricity last year, less than 2 percent of the nation's total. The government wants the nuclear industry to contribute 4 percent of the nation's energy needs by 2020.
(China Daily June 20, 2007)