Sichuan province plans nuclear power plant

22 July 2008

[Xinhua, 22 July] China's Sichuan province will soon submit an application to the state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, for the construction of a nuclear power plant in the inland region, according to local media reports. Experts involved in conducting the feasibility study for the proposed Sanba nuclear project have reportedly already concluded that the plant will be safe. The 4000-6000 MWe plant would be located at Nanchong on the Jialing River and would require a total investment of 25 billion yuan ($3.7 billion). State-owned China Guangdong Nuclear Group will be the main shareholder, but the project will also be open to other investors. In May 2008, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake affected southwestern Sichuan province, killing some 70,000 people. The main nuclear facilities affected were military ones, apparently without any radioactive releases. The eleven nuclear power reactors currently in operation in China are all on the country's eastern coast. A number of other provinces - including Chongqing, Hubei, Henan and Jiangxi - are vying to construct China's first inland nuclear power plant.