CONSTRUCTION OF SECOND STAGE OF CHINESE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT TO BE DECIDED IN 2005

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BEIJING, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - The decision concerning the construction of the second stage of Tianwan nuclear power plant will be made no earlier than the end of 2005, acting head of Federal Service on Technical, Ecological and Nuclear Monitoring Andrei Malyshev disclosed at the press-conference on Wednesday.

"Currently, Russia must do its best to put into operation the first and second power units of Tianwan nuclear power plant," Mr. Malyshev said. "High effectiveness and safety of the units must demonstrate the competitive advantage of Russian technologies," he added.

The first power unit of Tianwan nuclear power plant is likely to be put into operation in two months, Mr. Malyshev noted. "Our expertise evaluation of first power unit preparedness for operation is very high," he said.

The contract for the construction of Tianwan nuclear power plant was signed in 1997. It stipulates that Russia will build two power units with total power output of 2,000 megawatts. Presently this is the largest project of economic cooperation between Russia and China. In all, four power units will be constructed at Tianwan nuclear power plant.

According to Mr. Malyshev, in the nearest future the Chinese part must announce a tender on the construction of two more nuclear energy units. The Russian part is studying the conditions of the tender and by the end of October will make the decision concerning its participation, he noted. Russian nuclear specialists are boosting confidence, the head of the federal service added.

"Russia has always been working under the conditions of a tough competitiveness and successfully fulfilled a number of projects," Mr. Malyshev stressed. According to him, Russian technology of constructing nuclear power plants is the safest in the world.

"Simultaneously Russia builds two power units in India, one in Iran and two in China," he said. Neither French, nor American companies work on such scale, Mr. Malyshev noted.

According to him, the cooperation with China in the nuclear energy sphere is not limited by the construction of the nuclear power plant. Russian specialists constructed uranium enrichment plant in Lanzhou. It is worth noting that all three stages of the plant were put into operation ahead of dates stipulated by the contract.

"China is the largest Russian partner in the sphere of nuclear energy," Mr. Malyshev stressed.

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