China working on world's largest nuclear power expansion

  • PTI, Beijing
  • Updated: Jul 25, 2015 18:38 IST

China began working on a new atomic power plant, taking the number of its nuclear power units that are under construction to 26, state media reported.

The construction of the sixth unit of the Hongyanhe plant in Liaoning province began on Saturday.

This is the second nuclear plant under construction this year since the fifth unit of the Hongyanhe plant which started on March 29, state-run People's Daily reported.

The new plant will take the number of China's nuclear power units under construction to 26, perceived as number one in scale in the world.

Together with Unit 5 of the Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Plant, the construction of the new unit was part of the implementation of China's energy development strategy action plan in the field of nuclear power.

In the face of the current serious environmental governance situation, China has seen the development of nuclear power as one of the main solutions to achieve energy transformation and environmental improvement.

As per the "strategic action plan 2014-2020" announced by the Chinese government, the installed nuclear power capacity will reach 58,000 megawatts by 2020.

According to earlier reports, once all six units are in operation, the Hongyanhe plant will generate around 45 billion kWh of electricity annually, avoiding the need to burn more than 16 million tonnes of coal for power generation and the resulting emissions of some 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

China had halted the construction of its nuclear power plants following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan and resumed it last year after a review of safety aspects.

China is also aggressively marketing its new 1,100 MW nuclear technology abroad. Pakistan and Argentina have already opted for it.

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