China’s Nuclear Power Program To Resume Next Year

China’s nuclear power program, paused by the Fukushima disaster in Japan last year, looks set to resume next year. China’s first AP1000 nuclear power reactor, the Sanmen plant in Zhejiang, is expected to come into operation in 2013, Wang Binghua, board chairman of the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp., said at the weekend.

Construction of China’s first third-generation pressurized water reactors started in 2009. They are the first to use AP1000 technologies developed by the U.S. engineering group Westinghouse. SNPTC has also hinted that a plant using China’s indigenous version of the technology, CAP1000, could also be in operation by next year.

China has 13 nuclear power plants of varied capacities and is building 27 more, mostly of 1,000mw capacity and using U.S., French and Japanese technologies. State media say that the State Council will ‘soon’ review safety proposals and the development program for China’s ambitious nuclear program, following the safety review ordered in the wake of Fukushima.

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