Nextera completes 700 MW of nuclear uprates mostly in Florida and China completes its 17th nuclear reactor

1.Nextera Energy completes six uprates of nuclear plants in Florida (4 reactors) and Wisconson (2 reactors) that added 700 megawatts of power.

NextEra will see many long-term benefits from the uprates.

“You’ve got a more modern plant that will result in improved reliability. You’ve got fuel cost savings for the customer. You’ve got greater fuel diversification. You’re reducing CO2 emissions,” Jones said.

2. The first of four reactors being built at the Hongyanhe plant in Liaoning province in northeast China has begun commercial operation. It becomes China’s seventeenth operating nuclear power unit.

The 1080 MWe Chinese-designed pressurized water reactor officially entered commercial operation on 6 June after completing commissioning tests. The unit is said to be capable of supplying about one-quarter of the electricity demand of nearby Dalian City.

Hongyanhe 1 is the first of four CPR-1000 reactors currently being built at Hongyanhe. Its construction started in August 2007. Cold testing of the nuclear island of the unit was successfully completed in October 2012 and it achieved first criticality on 16 January. The unit was connected to the grid on 17 February.

Construction of the three other units there is progressing, with heat function tests at unit 2 nearing completion, and installation works at units 3 and 4 now 66% and 40% complete respectively. All four units should be in operation by the end of 2015.

3. A ‘one-stop’ complex of reactor fuel facilities is planned by the two firms operating nuclear power plants in China. At Heshan in Guangdong province, it will provide conversion, enrichment and fuel fabrication for China’s expanding nuclear power program.

At a cost of CNY45 billion ($7.33 billion) Heshan Nuclear Power Industry Park will feature a conversion plant to prepare uranium for enrichment, which will be carried out at the same site before manufacture into fuel pellets, rods and finished assemblies.

Construction will begin at the end of this year with the complex slated to manufacture its first reactor fuel in 2020. By this time the two firms will have a total of over 60,000 MWe of nuclear generating capacity – some 25 to 30 large reactors each – while many more units will be under construction as China becomes the world’s largest user of nuclear energy.

The 200 hectare fuel complex should become fully operational by 2025 to supply fuel fabrication amounting to 1000 tonnes of uranium. Conversion capacity is to be 14,000 tonnes per year.

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