Beijing: China will operationalise its first third generation nuclear reactor by next year despite its cautious approach after last year's nuclear power plant disaster in Japan.

China's first AP1000 nuclear power reactor is expected to come into operation by the scheduled time of 2013, officials said.

Chinese government has halted the construction of new nuclear plants to undergo safety checks following the Japan nuclear crisis.

Construction progress of the country’s third-generation nuclear reactors is generally "under control", Wang Binghua, board chairman of the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC), said.

China started to construct its first third-generation pressurised water reactors in 2009, which were also the world's first to use AP1000 technologies developed by US-based Westinghouse.

Construction progress has slowed down after a massive earthquake and tsunami caused devastation and sparked a nuclear power crisis in Japan last March, causing delays of six to twelve months for the reactors under construction in China's coastal areas, according to Wang.

Wang also attributed the delays to Westinghouse's design adjustments during construction and a stricter construction requirement for endurance concerns.

It has also taken more time for the construction and management staff to adapt to the construction methods of third-generation reactors, he added.

Simultaneously, China has rolled out its advanced 1,000-megawatt pressurised water nuclear power reactor, ACPR-1000 which could allow it to export technology to other countries, including Pakistan, without the constraints of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues.

The reactor was "independently" developed by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation, with full IPR and made its debut at the 13th China Hi-Tech Fair in southern city of Shenzhen, state-run People's Daily reported recently.

The technology has incorporated the lessons of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

It can cope with extreme situations, with its all technical and economic indicators meeting the standards of international third-generation nuclear power technology.

China currently has 13 nuclear power plants with varied capacities and constructing 27 others, mostly with 1000mw capacity, made with US, French and Japanese technologies.

Work in all these plants was stopped for safety review after the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactors.

The new reactor was also expected to be ready for installation by next year.

(Agencies)