Update on China’s nuclear reactor construction in Fuqing and Jiangsu provinces

1. Unit 1 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in China’s Fujian province has reached full capacity for the first time. Meanwhile, first concrete could soon be poured at the plant’s fifth unit, the first-of-a-kind Hualong One reactor.

The Fuqing plant will eventually house six Chinese-designed pressurized water reactors. The first four units of the plant are CPR-1000 reactors. Unit 2, construction of which began in June 2009, is expected to start operating in August 2015. First concrete was poured for units 3 and 4 in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Those reactors should begin operation in February 2016 and March 2017.

Preparatory work for the construction of Fuqing 5 and 6 – previously expected to use the ACP1000 design – is underway. However, last week plant owner China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced that the fifth and sixth units at the site will use the Hualong One design, marking its first deployment.

Once all six units at Fuqing are in operation their total generating capacity would be about 6300 MWe. CNNC has said this would provide about 10% of the electricity used in Fujian province by its population of 37.5 million people.

Work to line the basemat for Fuqing 5 has started (Image: CNEC)

Assuming this Fuqing relationship scaled, then for China’s entire population of 1.38 billion people to get 70% of its electricity from nuclear energy would require 1,620 GWe of nuclear power.

2. Construction of the reactor building at the third unit of the Tianwan nuclear power plant under construction in China’s Jiangsu province is nearing completion. Heavy equipment for the unit is already being shipped to the site from Russia.

Tianwan 3 will be an AES-91 VVER-1000 unit designed by Gidropress and supplied by Russian state firm Rosatom. AtomStroyExport is the main contractor, supplying the nuclear island. First concrete for the unit was poured in December 2012. It is scheduled to begin operating February 2018.

Two similar units began operating at the site in 2007, while construction of a fourth began in September 2013. Each of the VVERs is rated to produce 1060 MWe.