UPDATE 1-China sets floor prices for 3rd gen nuclear projects

 (Adds details, comparison with coal-fired power prices)
    BEIJING, April 1 (Reuters) - China has set guaranteed
minimum on-grid electricity tariffs for third-generation nuclear
power stations, the state planner said on Monday, providing
reference prices for other projects set to come on stream using
the new technology.
    China is backing new advanced reactor technologies as it
looks to increase nuclear power generation as a cheaper and
cleaner option to coal-fired power.
    It is the first country to complete the construction of
third-generation models like Westinghouse's AP1000 and the
French EPR design, and is also promoting its home-grown
third-generation Hualong One reactor design.
    The tariffs for electricity from third-generation nuclear
projects in three provinces was set by the National Development
and Reform Commission (NDRC) at slightly below the cost of
coal-fired power.
    The Taishan project in Guangdong province was set at 0.435
yuan ($0.0649) per kilowatt-hour (kWh), while prices for the
Sanmen project in Zhejiang province and Haiyang project in
Shandong province were set at 0.4203 yuan and 0.4151 yuan per
kWh, respectively. 
    China's total nuclear capacity stood at 46 gigawatts (GW) by
the end of last year, below its target of at least 58 GW by
end-2020, following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and
delays to projects.
    However, the industry could build six to eight nuclear
reactors a year if project approval processes return to normal
as expected in the near future, the chairman of the state-owned
China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) told Reuters on Monday.
    Below is a table showing benchmark electricity prices in
different regions. 
    Prices are showed in yuan per kWh.
 Region     Benchmark           Minimum prices of 3rd
            coal-fired power    Generation nuclear power
 Guangdong               0.453                     0.435
 Zhejiang                0.457                    0.4203
 Shandong               0.4525                    0.4151
    ($1 = 6.7058 yuan)

 (Reporting by Muyu Xu and David Stanway; Editing by Richard