China says it will accept bids next week from three international firms to design and build four nuclear reactors.

U.S.-based Westinghouse, along with companies from France and Russia, will submit bids to build the reactors in China's eastern province of Zhejiang and the southern province of Guangdong.

Westinghouse's efforts got a boost last week when the U.S. Export-Import Bank approved nearly five billion dollars to help finance the project.  This is the first time a U.S. firm has competed for a nuclear project in China.

China is seeking to boost its nuclear power program as part of an overall effort to meet its growing energy demands.  It already has nine nuclear power plants in operation.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and  AP.