China Guodian Corp, one of the nation's five leading power producers, has launched its first nuclear project in East China's Fujian Province.
Guodian has set up a division to work on the project in Zhangzhou, a coastal city in the southeast of Fujian, a company source told China Daily.
Several 1,000-MW generating units are planned for the plant. They will use the third-generation nuclear power technology AP1000 from Westinghouse, said the source.
"The move will diversify the power resources of Guodian, which is good for the sustainable development of the company," he said, declining to be named.
The nuclear power project is still at an early stage and has not yet received government approval, he said.
Guodian had an installed power capacity of 44,450 MW by the end of 2006. Most of its power plants are thermal and hydro. At the end of last year, the company's total assets were 188 billion yuan.
China has chosen the AP1000 technology for the country's four nuclear power reactors - two in Sanmen in Zhejiang and two in Haiyang in Shandong.
In November, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp signed an 8-billion-euro agreement with French nuclear company Areva for the supply of two nuclear reactors - a record deal for the French firm.
Under the deal, Areva will supply two EPRs (European pressurized reactors) for the project in Taishan, Guangdong Province.
All operational nuclear power plants in China are currently located in coastal regions in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong.
The reactors use first- or second-generation technology from France, Canada and Russia.
The country's largest nuclear company, China National Nuclear Corp, is also developing a nuclear power plant in Fujian.
By the end of June, nuclear power plants with a capacity of 7,960MW were in operation in China, and another 18,340 MW of capacity was under construction, according to Guodian.
At the end of last year, nuclear power accounted for 1.1 percent of the nation's total installed power capacity, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission's 2006 annual report said.
Nuclear power is the most important electricity-generating method after thermal and hydro in China, and the country has become the third-largest nuclear power producer in Asia after Japan and South Korea.
China plans to increase nuclear power capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2020, accounting for 4 percent of its total generating capacity.
(China Daily December 7, 2007)