A number of new nuclear power reactors in China are approaching start-up. The first unit at Yangjiang has completed full-power trial operation while hot tests have concluded at Fuqing 1. Two other units recently completed pressure tests on their containments.
Unit 1 of the Yangjiang plant in China’s Guangdong province has entered commercial operation, becoming China’s 20th operating nuclear power reactor.
The first four Yangjiang units are 1080 MWe CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors, with units 5 and 6 being the more advanced ACPR-1000. All the reactors should be in operation by 2018, producing a grand total of around 6100 MWe.
At unit 1 of the Fuqing plant in Fujian province, hot testing of its nuclear island was successfully completed on 5 March. These tests aimed to simulate the temperatures and pressures which the reactor’s systems will be subjected to during normal operation. This important phase ensures coolant circuits and nuclear safety systems are functioning properly before fuel is loaded.
Construction of Fuqing 1, a CPR-1000, started in November 2008 and it is scheduled to begin operating within the next few months. Unit 2, construction of which began in June 2009, is expected to start up in September.
China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNC’s) Fuqing plant in Fujian province will eventually house six Chinese-designed pressurized water reactors. Ground was broken for Fuqing unit 3 and 4 in June 2009. Those reactors should begin operation in mid-2015 and mid-2016, respectively.
Meanwhile, containment pressure tests have been completed at unit 2 of the Fuqing plant and Hongyanhe 3 in Liaoning province.
Similar tests were completed the previous day at unit 3 of the Hongyanhe plant. Construction of the CPR-1000 began in January 2009. It is expected to begin operating later this year.
The Hongyanhe plant is the first to be built in the northeast of China. The site incorporates a seawater desalination plant producing 10,080 cubic metres of potable water per day.
China currently has 20 nuclear power reactors in operation with a combined capacity of 17,130 MWe
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