China nears commercial operation of two new nuclear reactors

Two new Chinese nuclear power units – Yangjiang 2 and Ningde 3 – have moved closer to commissioning by being connected to the grid and achieving first criticality, respectively.

Unit 2 of China General Nuclear’s (CGN’s) Yangjiang nuclear power plant in Guangdong province was connected to the grid on 10 March. The company said the reactor will enter commercial operation once it has successfully completed a test run lasting 168 hours.

Yangjiang 2 is the second of four CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors being built at the site by CGN. Construction of unit 1 started in December 2008, with work on unit 2 beginning in 2009, unit 3 in 2010 and unit 4 in late 2012. The first unit began commercial operation in March last year, with unit 2 expected to start up in mid-2015. Construction of two further units at Yangjiang – both ACPR1000 reactors – began in 2013. All six units are scheduled to be in operation by 2019.

Ningde 3 goes critical

Meanwhile, unit 3 of CGN’s Ningde nuclear power plant in Fujian province achieved first criticality on 7 March.