China generates power at the Ningde 1 reactor and starts work on the 30th under construction nuclear reactor

1. Construction of a new reactor was started this week in China. The Russian-designed model is the fourth to be inaugurated since China resumed approvals for new plants at the end of October

The new build is at the Tianwan site in Jiangsu province. An AES-91 VVER-1000 unit designed by Gidropress and supplied by Russian state firm Rosatom. Tianwan 3 is slated to begin power generation in 2018, with unit 4 expected to follow one year later, operated by China National Nuclear Corporation. Tianwan 3 is now the 30th large power reactor under construction in China – and the fourth to be approved and begin work since the Fukushima accident of March 2011.

2. Control room engineers at Ningde 1 sent power to the grid for the first time, in the Fujian province of China. Further tests remain before the reactor will reach the next official stage, commercial operation, in which it will generate power solidly for a lifespan expected to be 60 years.

Achieving that status requires regulatory approval and a program of operational tests including a run lasting 168 hours its full rated power output of 1080 MWe. This work may take a few months.

The reactor is the first of four CPR-1000s at the Ningde site in Fujian province. Construction on units 1 and 2 started in 2008 and units 3 and 4 were started in 2010. They should all be in operation before the end of 2015

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