BEIJING Jan 15 China's first
third-generation nuclear power plant will come online as
scheduled in 2013, a nuclear power executive said, despite
delays caused by redesigning after a devastating tsumani in
Japan in March.
China's third-generation pressurized water reactors are the
first in the world to use AP1000 technology developed by
Westinghouse. Building has been underway since 2009.
Construction slowed following the tsunami, to allow for
design adjustments and "stricter construction requirement for
endurance concerns", the Xinhua news agency said, citing remarks
by Wang Binghua, board chairman of the State Nuclear Power
Technology Corporation (SNPTC) on Saturday.
The tsunami badly damaged reactors in Japan and led to
questions over the safety of China's ambitious nuclear plans.
China plans to start building new capacity almost equal to
Japan's entire nuclear power sector by 2015, to reduce its
dependence on coal.
"Both the SNPTC and Westinghouse have agreed that the new
reactors are able to survive the same shock experienced by the
Japanese plant," Wang said.
The two companies are still mulling over further efforts to
ensure nuclear safety, he added.
Wang said an optimized construction schedule would allow the
No.1 unit of the Sanmen nuclear power plant, in east China's
Zhejiang province to begin operation in 2013.
The Xinhua article did not mention a second
Westinghouse-designed plant, under construction in Haiyang,
Chinese designers are developing a variation of the AP1000
technologies, trumpeted as the "hone-grown" CAP1000, as well as
an updated CAP1400.
Initial designs for the CAP1400 were completed by the end of
last year, and will be examined by government experts in May
this year, Xinhua cited Wang as saying.
The U.S. certifed the AP1000 design in December, allowing
for the construction of the first new reactors there since the
Three Mile Island accident in 1979.
(Reporting By Lucy Hornby; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)