1. The process of loading fuel assemblies into the reactor core of unit 1 at the Fangjiashan plant in China’s Zhejiang province has begun. The process of loading all 157 assemblies into Fangjiashan 1’s core is expected to take three days to complete. Trial operation of the CPR-1000 reactor will then be able to begin, during which many tests will be carried out. The unit is scheduled to enter commercial operation by the end of this year. A second unit is expected to startup about ten months after the first.
Six CPR-1000 reactors are currently operating in China, with a further 16 under construction.
2. The Chinese nuclear regulator has approved the preliminary safety analysis report of the CAP1400 reactor design following a 17-month review. The CAP1400 is an enlarged version of the AP1000 pressurized water reactor developed from the Westinghouse original by SNPTC with consulting input from the Toshiba-owned company. As one of China’s 16 strategic projects under its National Science and Technology Development Plan, the CAP1400 is intended to be deployed in large numbers across the country. The reactor design may also be exported.
Site preparation is already underway for two demonstration CAP1400 units at Huaneng Group’s Shidaowan site in Shandong province. The pouring of first concrete is expected to take place by the end of the year. This site is part of a larger Rongcheng Nuclear Power Industrial Park, at which the prototype HTR-PM small modular reactor is already under construction. Another 19 of the 210 MWe units could follow.
The Hualong One reactor design has passed its design certification by the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA). After Fukushima, China ordered that the well proven Guangdong CPR-1000 and the paper ACP1000 design be merged.
CGN and CNNC still maintain their own supply chains, supporting 85% local content, and some features developed by CGN for its Advanced CPR-1000 will be incorporated into its versions of Hualong One.
The NEA, NNSA and National Development and Reform Commission have now confirmed that the Hualong One meets all technology requirements for a Generation-III reactor with full Chinese intellectual property rights and good export potential. They urged early deployment of demonstration units in China to prepare the way for exports as “an important brand” for Chinese nuclear technology. The first units will be built at Fangchenggang – units 3 and 4 (by CGN) followed by Fuqing 5 and 6 (by CNNC). Although it is still officially listed as being ACP1000, Pakistan’s Karachi Coastal Power station are likely to be the first export Hualong units.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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