(Yicai Global) Feb. 21 -- China plans to kick off construction on eight nuclear generators in 2017, per a circular on the National Energy Administration's website. Five nuclear projects will be completed this year to help reduce the country's reliance on coal and total investment in the projects is estimated at between CNY128 billion and CNY160 billion.
"It is timely to begin construction of the reactors this year," an insider from a domestic nuclear power company told Yicai Global. "This is in line with the national plan for developing nuclear power." As China did not approve the construction of any new nuclear generator last year, nuclear power firms will be hoping to land contracts this year, he said.
Per official data, China's new nuclear generators will all adopt the third-generation technology, first used in the construction of the then world's most advanced Sanmen nuclear power plant in 2008, and will all have an installed capacity of over several gigawatts.
Initial site selection for nuclear power plants is already underway in the country's central regions. Potential sites include Taohuajiang in Hunan, Xianning in Hubei and Pengze in Jiangxi and permission is expected to be granted for the construction of the eight nuclear power generators to start this year.