Three of China's four nuclear power plants under construction are expected to begin operating this year, a Chinese nuclear official announced Wednesday.
The first generating unit in the second-phase of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Station in Haiyan County, east China's Zhejiang Province, went through various tests last year. It is to be put into commercial use in June this year.
Work on the heavy-water reactor for the third phase of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Station is well under way. Its first generating unit will be put into operation by the end of the year.
Ling'ao Nuclear Power Plant, the second largest commercial nuclear power plant to be built in Guangdong, will start operatingthis year.
In addition, major equipment in the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant in east China's Jiangsu Province will be installed this year. Earthworks for the nuclear island of the second generating unit will be completed within the year.
By 2005, eight generating units with a combined capacity of 6.6 million kilowatts, including those in the second and third phases of Qinshan, Tianwan and Ling'ao nuclear power plants, are to become operational.
The two nuclear power plants already in operation are now working normally.
Nuclear power currently accounts for only 1 percent of China's power supply, compared to 21.9 percent in the United States, 33.4 percent in Japan and 77.4 percent in France.
China's coastal areas, with their rapid economic growth over the last two decades, are showing great interest in nuclear power.