Beijing: After a long delay and cost spillover, China is set to start commercial operations of the world's first next-generation AP1000 nuclear reactor.
The No. 1 reactor at the Sanmen power plant, designed by Westinghouse Electric Company, is expected to be ready for commercial operations on Friday after completing a 168-hour test-run, Shanghai-listed China National Nuclear Power Company said in a statement to the stock exchange on Thursday.
According to the South China Morning Post, it did not say when the unit, in east China's Zhejiang province, will officially enter commercial power production.
China's drive for cleaner energy has been a bright spot for a nuclear industry beset with cost overruns and stricter regulations in the wake of Japan's 2011 Fukushima disaster.
The Sanmen start-up may help advance the country's ambitions to almost double nuclear capacity by 2020 as the approval of new reactors is seen as being dependent on the successful start of so-called third-generation reactors.
"It's a landmark event for China's nuclear power industry," Snowy Yao, a Hong Kong-based analyst at China Securities International Finance Holding Company, was quoted as saying by the Post.
"It's safe to say China is now one of the leaders in the world's civil nuclear power industry."
(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at email@example.com)