The Straits Times
Published on Feb 18, 2013

China starts first nuclear power plant since Fukushima crisis


SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China's Hongyanhe nuclear plant started operations on Sunday, local media reported, marking the first nuclear power plant to be commissioned since the radiation crisis at Japan's Fukushima plant in 2011.

The start of the 50 billion yuan (S$9.9 billion) Hongyanhe plant comes after Beijing approved a development schedule for the industry in October, effectively lifting a 20-month ban on new projects in place since an earthquake on Mar 11, 2011 crippled the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.

The first unit of the Hongyanhe nuclear power station, located in China's north-east Liaoning province, went into operation on Sunday afternoon, the state-run China Daily reported on Monday.

With the new plant in operation, China now has 16 working reactors with more than 12 gigawatts of total generating capacity. It is in the middle of a massive expansion programme to boost nuclear capacity to 58 gigawatts by 2020.