SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China has begun construction on two new reactor units at the Changjiang nuclear project on the island province of Hainan off the country’s southeast coast, state media reported on Monday following a signing ceremony.
The company in charge, the Huaneng Nuclear Development Corporation, has chosen China’s homegrown third-generation Hualong One reactor technology for the two units, the official China News Service reported. The Changjiang project already has two reactors in operation.
The total investment for the two new units will reach 39.45 billion yuan ($5.64 billion), and they are scheduled to go into operation in 2025 and 2026.
The country now has 15 new reactor units under construction, with 47 already in commercial operation.
China was aiming to bring total nuclear capacity to 58 gigawatts (GW) by the end of last year, with another 30 GW under construction.
It is expected to fall short of this target, with total capacity now at 48.7 GW and likely to hit 53 GW by the end of 2020.
China’s ambitious nuclear programme has been held back by long delays to major projects and a suspension of new approvals that lasted three years. The Zhangzhou project in Fujian was the first conventional reactor project to be given the nod since late 2015.
Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Shri Navaratnam