Source: Agencies | 2013-2-18 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
The first unit of the Hongyanhe nuclear power station near Wafangdian, Liaoning Province, is seen in this file photo. The nuclear power station, the first nuclear power plant since an incident at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant and largest energy project in northeast China, started operation yesterday. Building of the first phase of the project, with four power generation units to be built at a cost of 50 billion yuan (US$7.96 billion), began in 2007 and is set to be completed by the end of 2015.
THE Hongyanhe nuclear power station, the first nuclear power plant since an incident at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant and the largest energy project in northeast China, started operation yesterday.
The plant's first unit went into operation at 3:09pm, said Yang Xiaofeng, general manager of Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co Ltd.
Construction of the first phase of the project, which features four power generation units to be built at a cost of 50 billion yuan (US$7.96 billion), began in 2007 and is set to be completed by the end of 2015, said Yang.
The four units will generate 30 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually by then, accounting for 16 percent of the total electricity use in 2012 in Liaoning Province, Yang said.
The station, near Wafangdian which is 110 kilometers away from Dalian Port in the province, was jointly developed by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, China Power Investment Corp and Dalian Construction Investment Group Co, according to the company website.
Building of the second phase of the project, which will have two power generation units to be built with an investment of 25 billion yuan, started in May 2010 and is set to be finisheh by the end of 2016, he said.
The power plant will generate 45 billion kwh of electricity after it is fully completed in 2016, Yang 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.
China's State Council, or the Cabinet, approved a nuclear power safety plan and a development schedule for the industry in October, lifting a ban on new projects in place since an earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in Japan in 2011.
China is seeking to more than triple its nuclear power capacity to 40 million kilowatts in 2015 from 12.54 million kilowatts at the end of 2011, according to a government white paper released on October 24.