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    MOSCOW, 14 March, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent). -Deputy head of Russia's former Atomic Energy Ministry (Minatom) Vladimir Asmolov is to visit the construction site of China's Tyanwan nuclear power plant (NPS).

    Asmolov sets off on his four-day visit to China on 14 March. He is scheduled to stay two days in Bejing and then go to the Tyanwan NPS construction site, a Minatom spokesperson told RIA Novosti.

    "Currently, Russia is completing construction of the first and second power generating units at the Tyanwan NPS," the spokesperson reminded the RIA Novosti correspondent.

    Russia is constructing China's Tyanwan NPS under a contract worth over $3 billion. The project is based on the upgraded version of the Russian VVER-1000 (water-moderated power generator). It is implemented with the aid of Russian experts and funded by a credit allocated by the Russian Government. The machinery start of the first unit is scheduled for April 2004, with the power output launch expected in June 2004.

    The first unit will start commercial power production by the end of 2004. Similar procedures will be carried out at the second unit throughout 2005.

    Russia's former Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev has repeatedly said that Russia is ready to take part in other tenders for NPS construction in China.

    China's nuclear power industry accounts for only 1.3 percent of the country's total energy balance. Eight of the Chinese eleven nuclear power generating units, both working and under construction, are of foreign design.

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