China has begun construction on its first nuclear power plant on the sea this week.
The project, which will cost 14 billion yuan ($2 billion), is being built on the coast of Yantai in Shandong province, eastern China, Qilu Evening News reported.
China’s work commenced months after Russia launched the world’s first floating nuclear plant, the Akademik Lomonosov, which aims to generate power for the arctic town of Pevek.
The plant, expected to be operational by 2021, is part of the Communist Party’s 13th Five-Year Plan that realizes a series of economic and social development initiatives.
China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) oversees the project, which will provide clean energy to coastal cities, islands, offshore work platforms and remote regions upon successful completion.
In 2016, China announced its plans to build a fleet of 20 similar plants to provide power and water supply to its islands in the heavily-contested South China Sea.
According to the Global Times, Yantai Party chief Zhang Shuping broke the news of the project at the 2018 nuclear power industry forum held in the city last week.
Earlier this year, CNNC and the Yantai government signed to collaborate on a “clean-energy composite supply platform and pool-type low-temperature reactor.”
By September, CNNC completed the initial design of a reactor called “Yanlong” based on its previous reactors in the last 50 years.
The 400-megawatt reactor is said to provide clean energy to some 200,000 three-bedroom households.
Images via Weibo / China National Nuclear Corporation