1. Japan is planning to build nine new nuclear power plants by 2020, and 14 by 2030, according to a draft strategy document by METI, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Nuclear power's security of supply and low-carbon output have made it a strategic priority for the country, the report said. The report said that the 2020 plants should have a load factor of 85%; Japan's reactors had a load factor of 84% in 1998, prior to the 2007 earthquake that shut down all seven units of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, among others. The 2030 plants would have an even higher load factor of 90%.
The Japanese energy plan also the goal of halving carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from homes and passenger cars by 2030.
2. The Finnish Ministry of Employment and Industry says preliminary permission has been given to Finnish utility TVO and Fennovoima, a consortium including Germany's E.On AG, to build the reactors by 2020. The government proposal requires parliamentary approval, expected this summer.
3. The initial loading of fuel into the reactor core has begun at unit 1 of the second phase of the Ling Ao nuclear power plant in Guangdong province, China.
Unit 1 of phase II is scheduled to begin commercial operation by the end of 2010. The main structural work on Phase II of the Ling Ao plant started in December 2005. Unit 2 of Ling Ao Phase II is due to begin operating in 2011. So if the schedule is maintained it will about 5 years from start of construction until commercial power generation is started.
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