Russia will build eight more nuclear reactors in Iran

1. Russia has agreed to build up to eight new nuclear power reactor units in Iran – four at Bushehr and four at another, yet to be determined site.

Unit 1 at the Bushehr nuclear power plant is a VVER V-446 pressurised water reactor unit, which began commercial operation in September 2013. After years of delay, the Bushehr plant was finally connected to the grid on 4 September 2011, supplying around 60 MWe. Output from the 1000 MWe reactor has since been gradually increased, reaching full capacity in September 2013. Russia is supplying fuel to Bushehr which, once used, will be returned to Russia for reprocessing and storage.

2. AFramework Joint Venture Agreement was signed between China’s CNNC and Canada’s Candu Energy to build AFCR (Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactor) projects domestically and develop opportunities for that technology internationally.

The AFCR is described as “a 700 MW Class Generation III reactor based on the highly successful CANDU 6 and Enhanced CANDU 6 (EC6) reactors with a number of adaptations … [allowing] it to use recycled uranium or thorium as fuel.” The present focus is on uranium recycled from conventional used fuel (RU) blended with depleted uranium (DU) to give natural uranium equivalent. Following the successful trials of this at Qinshan, next year both those reactors will be modified to become full AFCRs. Then the AFCR joint venture plans to build new AFCR units in China and beyond.

3. The fourth Areva EPR under construction reached a milestone with the placement of its reactor pressure vessel at the Taishan nuclear power plant in southern China.

Taishan features two 1660 MWe Areva EPR units, which are being built by the 70-30 joint venture of China General Nuclear (CGN) and France’s EDF that will also own and operate them. The plant is in China’s Guangdong province. Other EPRs are under construction in Finland and France, and are planned for the UK as well as India.

4. Unit 1 of the Fangjiashan plant in China’s Zhejiang province has been connected to the electricity grid, becoming China’s 22nd operating power reactor. It is expected to enter commercial operation by the end of the year.

The 1080 MWe CPR-1000 reactor was successfully connected to the grid at 9.12pm on 4 November, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced.

Fangjiashan unit 2, first concrete for which was poured in July 2009, has entered the commissioning phase, CNNC said. The reactor is expected to startup in October 2015