China grid connects two new nuclear plants, Russia will connect one in the summer

Unit 4 of the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant in China’s Liaoning province began supplying electricity to the grid on April 1, 2016.
The reactor is expected to enter commercial operation later this year. It is a 1087 MWe CPR-1000 pressurized water reactor. Work on the nuclear island at Hongyanhe 4 officially began in August 2009.

The construction of Phase II of the Hongyanhe plant – units 5 and 6 – was approved last year and building work started in March and July 2015, respectively. These units – featuring 1080 MWe CGN-designed ACPR1000 reactors – are scheduled to begin operating in 2019 and 2020.

According to CGN, once all six units are in operation, the Hongyanhe plant will generate around 45 billion kWh of electricity annually, avoiding the need to burn some 15 million tonnes of coal for power generation and the resulting emissions of some 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

2. On March 29, 2016 Unit 4 at the Ningde nuclear power plant in China’s Fujian province has been connected to the electricity grid. It is a 1087 MWe CPR-1000 pressurized water reactor. Work on the nuclear island at Ningde 4 officially began in September 2010.

3. Russia plans to grid connect its first Generation-III+ nuclear power unit this summer. The first fuel assembly was loaded at unit 2 of the Novovoronezh II nuclear power plant in western Russia.

Novovoronezh 6 is a Generation-III+ VVER 1200/392M pressurised water reactor (PWR) unit with a design net capacity of 1114 MWe. It is the first of two units at Novovoronezh II

4. A pilot production line of fuel elements for China’s Shidaowan HTR-PM – a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) demonstration project – has started in Baotou, Inner Mongolia. The production line will have an annual capacity of 300,000 spherical fuel elements.

The Institute for Nuclear and New Energy Technology (INET) at Tsinghua University has conducted research on HTGR fuel element technology over the past 30 years. It developed a trial production line with an annual capacity of 100,000 spherical fuel elements. The new, larger production line is based on that technology. INET has supplied specialized equipment for three main processes involved in the production of the HTR’s spherical fuel elements: manufacturing, aging, washing and drying equipment for uranium dioxide; fuel pellet coating equipment; and, a press for forming the spherical fuel elements.

The fuel produced by the pilot plant will be used by the demonstration HTR-PM high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant being built at Shidaowan, near Weihai city in Shandong province. This will initially comprise twin HTR-PM reactor modules driving a single 210 MWe steam turbine. Construction started in late 2012, with commercial operation scheduled in 2017.

A proposal to construct two 600 MWe HTR plants – each featuring three twin reactor modules and turbine units – at Ruijin city in China’s Jiangxi province passed a preliminary feasibility review in early 2015. The design of the Ruijin HTRs is based on the smaller Shidaowan demonstration HTR-PM. Construction of the Ruijin reactors is expected to start next year, with grid connection in 2021.

5. The Vogtle 3 and 4 construction project has achieved multiple milestones over the past month and is now more than 60% complete, Georgia Power announced.