Three nuclear power plants currently under construction will begin operation in 2002, according to a Chinese nuclear official reported by Xinhua. The first generating unit in the second phase of the Qinshan station in Zhejiang province has started to generate electricity and the third is expected to begin commercial operation later this year. The Lingao plant in Guangdong province is also due to start transmitting power in 2002.
By 2005, China expects to have eight nuclear generating units operational with a combined capacity of 6,600MW. Currently, nuclear power accounts for only 1 per cent of China’s power supply, compared with 22 per cent in the US, 33 per cent in Japan and 77 per cent in France.
Plans to build the country’s first commercial nuclear reactor to provide heating has run into opposition, reported South China Morning Post. More than 100 legislators in Shenyang called for the abandonment of the plan to build two 200MW low-temperature reactors. The project was approved by the State Planning and Development Commission to improve Shenyang’s poor air quality.