China approves first new nuclear project since 2011

11 March 2015


China's National Development and Reform Commission has approved construction of units 5&6 of the Hongyanhe nuclear power station, in the northeastern province of Liaoning.

The approval by the State Council and the National Energy Board is the first new reactor approval since a freeze on licensing and new reactor approvals that was put in place a few days after the Fukushima accident in March 2011.

However, China General Nuclear must also obtain construction licences from the National Nuclear Security Administration before construction can start.

Four reactors have already been built at the Hongyanhe site: units 1&2 began commercial operation in June 2013 and May 2014, respectively; and units 3&4 are expected to start up in 2015. The project, which jointly owned by CGN (45%), CPI Nuclear Power (45%) and Dalian Construction Investment Corporation (10%), was initially expected to house six CPR-1000 reactors, although it is now likely that the last two units (5&6) will be the latest Chinese reactor design - Hualong One.

China currently has 23 reactors in operation, according to the World Nuclear Association, with an additional 28GWe under construction.



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