Workers on Friday hoisted a 335-tonne steam generator into place over the underground workshop of the Qinshan nuclear power complex, the first commercial nuclear power facility in China.
The steam generator is a heat exchanger used to convert water into steam from heat produced in a nuclear reactor core, and is used in pressurized water reactors between the primary and secondary coolant loops, said Yang Lanhe, General Manager of the China Nuclear Power Qinshan Joint Venture Co.Ltd., the investor of the second phase of the Qinshan complex.
This step cleared the way for installation of two 650,000 kw pressurized water reactors at the nuclear complex, which is in Haiyan, on the northern coast of Hangzhou Bay, in the country's eastern Zhejiang Province.
Yang said that the Qinshan complex has three phases, each featuring different types of reactor. The second phase involves the plant where work was done on Friday.
The phase two now has two functioning 650,000-kw units that began generating power in 2002 and 2004, respectively. And the expansion of phase two will involve the installation of other two 650,000-kw pressurized reactors, which kicked off in April 2006.
"When all four units are in operation, the second phase will be able to produce 18-20 billion kwh of electricity a year," said Yang adding that it will be fully completed and start power generation in late 2011.
The first phase of the Qinshan facility was also the first nuclear power plant on the mainland built independently by home engineers.
The facility started construction in 1985. The first phase featured a 300,000 kilowatt prototype reactor with a lifespan of 30 years, which went online in 1991. The first phase has so far generated 31 billion kwh of electricity and produced 9.6 billion yuan in revenue and paid 1.8 billion yuan in tax.
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, respectively.
China has Qinshan, Daya Bay, Lingao and Lianyungang Tianwan - four nuclear power stations with 11 generating sets and an installed capacity of nine million KW.