The No. 1 reactor of the Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Plant in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region began commercial operation on Friday.
It’s China’s first nuclear power plant in the ethnic minority regions.
The reactor can supply 24 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a day, which could meet the needs of a medium-sized city.
The No.1 reactor first began generating power in October 2015. The plant’s No. 2 reactor is expected to start operating in the second half of 2016.
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): GONG GUANGCHEN, Spokesman, Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Plant
“The two reactors can create some one million new jobs annually and are expected to contribute 8 billion yuan to the local GDP.”
Gong says the reactors will cut coal burning by 4.8 million tonnes and CO2 emissions by about 11.9 million tonnes every year.
China has seen rapid nuclear power growth in recent years, but it suspended approval of new programs after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.
It was not until 2014 that the country restarted nuclear power plant construction.