4 Mar (NucNet): China has approved construction of its first nuclear power project since the Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan almost four years ago brought the programme to a standstill while safety checks were carried out, media reports have said.
China’s State Council gave the go-ahead on 17 February 2015 for two new reactors at China General Nuclear Power Group’s Hongyanhe plant in the country’s northeast, the National Business Daily newspaper reported.
The China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA) said in August 2014 that the two units, to be named Hongyanhe-5 and Hongyanhe-6, were expected to be of the CAP-1400 Generation III domestic design, which is based on the Westinghouse AP1000 design.
Hongyanhe already has two commercially operational units and two under construction, all of the domestic Generation II CPR-1000 design.
Hongyanhe-1 and -2 entered commercial operation in June and October 2013. Construction of Hongyanhe-3 began in March 2009 and of Hongyanhe-4 in August 2009.
In June 2014, Chinese authorities said approval for 12 new nuclear reactors would be accelerated, among them the two new units at Hongyanhe.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Power Reactor Information System (Pris) database, China has 16.900 gigawatts of nuclear capacity in commercial operation and 27.756 GW under construction, a total of 44.656 GW (net).
CNEA said a total of 14 GW of nuclear power generation is expected to become operational in 2015 and 2016.
China plans to expand atomic capacity to as much as 58 GW by 2020, National Business Daily said.
According to the IAEA, China has 24 operational nuclear units delivering electrical power to the grid, accounting in 2014 for 2.39 percent of China’s total electricity production.
There are 25 nuclear reactors under construction in China. The Chinese Nuclear Society said in January 2015 that construction of five more units will begin this year.