China has broken ground on a 3 billion-yuan (476 million-U.S. dollar) nuclear power project (pebble bed high temperature reactor) that will be the first in the world to put a reactor with fourth-generation features into commercial use, a Chinese energy company said Sunday.
* the 200 MWe high-temperature gas-cooled reactor will start generating power by the end of 2017
* It can also raise electricity generation efficiency to around 40 percent from the current 30-percent level of second- and third-generation reactors
* If it is commercially successful, the reactor's technology and equipment can be exported to other countries in the future, said a Huaneng Shandong Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (HSNPC) public relations officer who declined to be named
* The project is part of the HSNPC's broader plan to build a 6.6-gigawatt (GW) nuclear power plant that will require approximately 100 billion yuan in investment over 20 years. If completed, it would be China's largest nuclear power plant, said the official. The rest of the plan includes four 1.25-GW AP1000 pressurized water reactors and a 1.4-GW CAP1400 pressurized water reactor.
The plan has not yet been approved by regulators.
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