China's third generation nuke power plant nearing completion
Beijing: Resuming the construction of new nuclear plants in a big way after Fukushima disaster in Japan, China is on course to complete its first ever third-generation atomic power station.
The technology at the core of the plant is known is AP1000. The "third generation" energy project in Sanmen in east China's Zhejiang province is the largest ever joint China-US energy project, state-run CCTV reported.
The construction is nearing completion as a 800 tonne steel structure is being put on top of the reactor chamber of the nuclear power unit.
It marks the completion of the main structure housing the reactor itself.
The plant officials said that all the safety issues arising out of the Fukushmia disaster have been addressed.
Ting Qian, Sanmen AP1000 Deputy Manager of Westinghouse Industrial Products, said, "The risk is 100 times lower. It can work without power, the gravity and natural circulation will keep the vessel in water condition."
The reactors in Fukushima plant in Japan started melting after the severe earthquake followed by tsunami crippled the plant. Chinese engineers say that factor has been taken into consideration.
Li Haitao of State Nuclear Power Engineering Company said, "We follow the rules of the US nuclear regulatory commission, as well as China?s own nuclear safety laws and regulations. Our team consists of talented people from both China and the US. And we have a comprehensive system of quality control."
The Sanmen plant will start generating electricity in 2014, and is expected to supply 15 per cent of Zhejiang province's electricity by 2015.
It is part of China's overall plan to increase the proportion of nuclear power to 4 per cent by 2020, double the current level.
Li said, "The electricity made by one nuclear unit here can save three million tons of coal, and decrease carbon emissions by eight million tonnes".
China has 15 nuclear power-generating units in operation with a total installed capacity of 12.54 GW, and another 26 units currently under construction will add another 29.24 GW, according to a government white paper on energy policy released in October 2012.