China began building the first nuclear power plant in its northeast on Saturday, part of a rapid nuclear expansion meant to curb growing use of coal and oil, a state news agency said.
The 50 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion; euro5 billion) Hongyanhe power plant in Dalian will have six 1-megawatt generating units, the Xinhua News Agency said. It is based on Chinese-developed technology.
The first generating unit is due to go into operation in 2012 and the rest by 2014, Xinhua said.
China plans to build 31 new nuclear plants by 2020 as it tries to meet the soaring energy demands of its booming economy while curbing reliance on oil and coal. The country has four nuclear plants in operation, all in the fast-growing east and southeast. [Full Text]
[Image source: A cyclist rides past cooling towers at a power station on the outskirts of Beijing, by Greg Baker/Associated Press. from post-gazette.com]