Fujian plant is first of six new 1,000MW reactor schemes announced this month

Construction work has begun on a £9.7bn nuclear power station on China's south-eastern seaboard.

The plant, in the coastal city of Fuqing, in Fujian province, is the first of a series of large-scale energy projects announced earlier this month by the Chinese government.

It will eventually include six reactors, each with a capacity of 1,000MW. The first is expected to be up and running by 2013 and the second the following year. Other planned nuclear projects include two plants in Zhejiang and Guangdong.

Vice general manager of the China National Nuclear Corporation, Yu Jianfeng, said: “These projects will effectively boost the domestic economy, as they require a large amount of investment.”

He added that the country's nuclear sector was “not affected” by the global financial crisis.