Citing electricity shortages, the eastern province of Zhejiang has confirmed plans to expand an existing nuclear plant and build a new one. The province is one of a growing number of local governments to take a fresh look at nuclear power. Zhejiang yesterday started a trial of a second generating unit at the Qinshan nuclear power station, one of the mainland's two such plants. The other is located at Guangdong's Daya Bay, just across the border from Hong Kong. Qinshan, located near Shanghai, plans to add two more generating units, each with installed capacity of 600,000 kilowatts. Zhejiang would also start construction of a new nuclear power plant in the coastal city of Sanmen next year, the China Daily newspaper said. Eastern Jiangsu province also plans to put into operation a nuclear power plant, using Russian technology, later this year near Lianyungang city. Guangdong is also planning a second nuclear power plant at Ling'ao city. In 1999, the mainland's nuclear industry officials announced a three-year freeze on new plants. But electricity shortages across much of the country last year apparently revived interest in the power source. Nuclear power accounts for roughly 1 per cent of the mainland's power generation, official estimates show. The mainland suffered from widespread power outages and blackouts last year due to an unusually hot summer and underestimates of economic growth. Foreign companies are eager to sell nuclear power technology to the mainland and planners appear unconcerned by safety concerns, despite accidents in other countries.