SHANGHAI, May 29 (Xinhua) -- A new generation of nuclear reactors is set to boost China's nuclear power plants along the country's east coast, with the first such system due to start operation in 2015, a senior member of the industry announced on Thursday.
An AP1000 pressurized water reactor, introduced from a U.S. company and improved by Chinese researchers, is going through tests and is scheduled to be connected to the grid by the end of next year, Wang Binghua, board chairman of the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation, said at the Gen III AP/CAP Qualified Suppliers Symposium in Shanghai.
It is hoped that another reactor of this kind will start operation in another nuclear plant at the beginning of 2016, he added.
AP1000 technology, a world-leading, third-generation reactor developed by Westinghouse Electric Company, was introduced to China in 2006. Construction of four reactors based on the AP1000 began in China in 2009.
With another four reactors being constructed in the United States at the same time, this has signaled the coming phase of mass production.
Based on the AP1000, China is also developing an upgraded version, CAP1400, with 65 percent of the design and construction completed, and it is expected to start operation in 2018.
During a meeting of the National Energy Commission on April 18, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced that China will start introducing state-of-the-art safety measures to power plants along its east coast "at a proper time."