Workers Friday began pouring the foundation for one of two new generating units planned as an addition to the first phase of the Qinshan nuclear power plant in Fangjiashan, Haiyan, on the northern coast of Hangzhou Bay, Zhejiang Province.
The nuclear power plant, not far from Shanghai, is the first Chinese facility of its kind.
Each of the two pressurized reactors to be installed will have an installed capacity of 1 million kilowatts.
The two generating units will be operational by 2013 and 2014.
The State Nuclear Safety Bureau, an affiliate of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, also presented a construction permit for a civilian nuclear facility to China National Nuclear Corp, Friday.
The first phase of Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant was the first nuclear power plant on the Chinese mainland built by domestic engineers. Construction of the plant began in 1985. It was built with a 300,000 kilowatt prototype reactor with a lifespan of 30 years It started generating power in 1991.
The plant also has second and third phases.
Chinese engineers have installed two generating units in the second phase and plan to add at least two more.
The third phase houses two Canadian CANDU heavy-water reactors.
According to the country's long and mid-term development plan of nuclear power plants, China's nuclear power installed capacity will reach 40 million kw by 2020 and will generate 260-280 billion kwh electricity each year, accounting for four percent and six percent of the country's total.
China has nuclear power stations with 11 generating sets and an installed capacity of nine million KW. These generating units are with three phases of Qinshan, and Daya Bay, Lingao, both in Guangdong province, as well as Tianwan in Lianyungang, east China's Jiangsu Province.