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China Starts Construction Of First 1,000 Megawatt Nuclear Reactor

China has started construction of its first homegrown 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant near the boomtown of Shenzhen in the southern province of Guangdong, state press reported on Dec. 16. The Ling'ao II project will be comprised of two generating units, each with an installed capacity of 1,000 megawatts, with the first unit scheduled to start operation in December 2010. The second unit will go online in August 2011. On completion, the two units will generate 150 billion kilowatt hours of electricity each year for the province which borders Hong Kong.

Ling'ao II is based on pressurized water reactor technology imported from France, but with improvements made by Chinese nuclear scientists, the report said.

China currently has nine nuclear generation units in operation, including four in Daya Bay and Ling Ao and five reactors at the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant in east China's Zhejiang Province. Two other units, imported from Russia are under construction at the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant in Jiangsu Province, east China.

China gets just 2% of its energy from nuclear power plants and is hoping to increase that to 4% by 2020, which will make it the world's fastest developer of atomic energy.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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