China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has signed a cooperation agreement with China Development Bank (CDB) to get credit limit of 100 billion yuan (about $15 billion) from the bank, bringing the total tally of CNNC's intentional credit limits to 450 billion yuan (about $66 billion) with the offers from eight other banks, State Assets Administration Committee (SASAC) said in its website on Thursday.

According to the information released in SASAC's website on Wednesday, the funds from CDB will be used to support the developments of CNNC's nuclear power, nuclear fuel cycle, the exploration of uranium resources both in and out of China, nuclear reprocessing and nuclear scientific & technical development.

By the end of June 2009, CDB has issued 16 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) loan balance to CNNC, mainly supporting state key projects including Zhejiang Qinshan Nuclear Power Station in the late second and third phases, Jiangsu Tianwan Nuclear Power Station, Fujian Fuqing Nuclear Power Station and the exploration of uranium resources.

Besides, CNNC has already signed strategic cooperation agreements with eight banks before the agreement with CDB, which brings CNNC an estimated 350 billion yuan ($51 billion) of intentional credibility.

The banks include Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications, Everbright Bank of China, China Citic Bank and China Merchants Bank.

CNNC, the super-sized enterprises owned solely by state, was established on 16 September 1988 by the authority of the State Council. It is the country's biggest owner of nuclear power plants and a developer of nuclear technology.

The support of the banks for CNNC came as the Chinese government vows to promote the nuclear energy as clean energy.

China is planning for an installed nuclear power capacity of 86 gigawatts (gW) by 2020, up nearly 10-fold from the 9 gW capacity it had by the end of 2008.

The goal, which is part of an alternative energy development roadmap covering 2009-20, seeks to have at least 12 gW of installed nuclear power capacity by 2011, sources said.

China, the world's second-largest power market, now has 11 working nuclear reactors, producing 9.1 gW as of the end of last year.

The country, which had previously planned to have 60-70 gW of nuclear power capacity by 2020, or about 5% of the total anticipated capacity then, had 22.9 gW of nuclear power capacity under construction as of last year.

China is now adding more than 24 reactors, which includes five plants scheduled to start construction this year.

China National Nuclear Corp, the biggest nuclear power operator in the country, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co Ltd and China Power Investment Corp, the parent company of the Hong Kong-listed China Power International Development Ltd, are currently the only players in the country's nuclear power sector.