China has switched on its first new nuclear power plant since the Fukushima disaster two years ago.
The Hongyanhe nuclear plant’s first unit has officially started generating power and is believed to be the largest energy project in northeast China.
Construction of the first phase of the project, which features four power generation units to be built at a cost of ¥50 billion (£5.2bn), began in 2007 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. The four units are expected to generate 30 billion kWh of electricity every year, equivalent to 16% of the total electricity consumption in Liaoning Province, according to Chinese reports.
The news follows the Chinese Government’s approval for a nuclear power safety and a development schedule for the industry last October, effectively lifting a ban on new projects in place since the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.
China has 15 nuclear power-generating units in operation with a total installed capacity of 12.54GW.