Third-generation nuclear plant will be the first in the world to use US approved technology

Construction of China’s first third-generation nuclear plant will begin in March.

National paper China Daily said the country’s Sanmen power plant, in eastern Zhejiang Province, is expected to complete by August 2013 and become the world's first nuclear plant to use AP1000 technology from US company Westinghouse Electric.

The technology has been approved by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but has never been used in an operating power plant.

An AP100 plant has more simple passive safety systems than previous plants and is built under modular construction.

Construction of the Haiyang nuclear power plant in Shandong province, also with AP1000 technology, will start later this year.

China has 11 nuclear generating units in operation and will have an installed nuclear power capacity of 40 million kilowatts by 2020, which will account for 4% of the country's total, the paper said.

The country’s nuclear plants are overseen by the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation.