The first nuclear power plant in northeast China started operation yesterday, Xinhua reported.
The first unit of the Hongyanhe nuclear power station, also the largest energy project in the region, went into operation at 3.09pm, Xinhua said, citing Yang Xiaofeng, the general manager of Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power.
The station, near Wafangdian in Liaoning province, was jointly developed by China Guangdong Nuclear Power, China Power Investment and Dalian Construction Investment, according to Hongyanhe Nuclear Power's website.
The State Council approved a nuclear power safety plan and a development schedule for the industry in October, effectively lifting a ban on new projects in place since an earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in Japan in 2011.
The world's largest energy consumer is seeking to more than triple its nuclear power capacity to 40 million kilowatts in 2015 from 12.54 million kilowatts at the end of 2011, according to a government white paper released on October 24.
The Hongyanhe project includes six generation units, according to its website.
The installation of the first four, at a cost of 50 billion yuan (HK$62.2 billion), was expected to be completed by the end of 2015, Xinhua reported, citing Yang.
The units will be able to generate electricity of 30 billion kilowatt-hours a year, according to the website.
Separately, the mainland started construction of a 3 billion yuan nuclear power reactor in December, Xinhua said last month.
The reactor, at Shidao Bay in Shandong province, would start generating power by the end of 2017 and have a capacity of 200 megawatts, Xinhua said, quoting the operator of the plant, Huaneng Shandong Shidao Bay Nuclear Power.