Three new chinese nuclear power reactors on track to start operation before end of 2016

Three new nuclear power reactors in China have recently reached significant milestones toward their operation. First criticality has been achieved at Fuqing 3 and Fangchenggang 2 – both CPR-1000s – while cold hydrostatic tests have been completed at the Haiyang 1 AP1000.

Unit 3 of the Fuqing plant in China’s Fujian province achieved a sustained chain reaction for the first time on 3 July.

China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNC’s) Fuqing plant will eventually house six Chinese-designed PWRs, the first four being 1087 MWe CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors. Unit 1 started up in July 2014, was connected to the grid the following month and entered commercial operation in November. Unit 2 achieved first criticality in July 2015 and entered commercial operation last October.

Ground was broken in June 2009 for Fuqing unit 3 and 4. Containment pressure tests were successfully completed at unit 3 last August. The loading of all 157 fuel assemblies into the reactor core of Fuqing 3 was completed on 4 April. Unit 3 is expected to begin operating later this year following the completion of a series of commissioning tests, while unit 4 is scheduled to start up in 2017.

China’s State Council gave final approval for construction of Fuqing units 5 and 6 in mid-April. First concrete was poured for the fifth unit in May 2015, while that for unit 6 was poured in December. These will be demonstration indigenously-designed Hualong One reactors.

Control room at Fuqing 3

Fangchenggang 2 first criticality

Unit 2 of China General Nuclear’s (CGN’s) Fangchenggang plant in Guangxi province also recently achieved first criticality. The CPR-1000 first achieved a sustained chain reaction at 1.48pm on 28 June in a test that lasted just over 17-and-a-half hours.
Fangchenggang is located near Hongsha village in the Guangxi Autonomous Region, about 45 kilometres from the border with Vietnam. A total of six large pressurized water reactors are planned to operate there. Units 1 and 2 are both CPR-1000s, units 3 and 4 will feature Hualong One reactors, and units 5 and 6 are to be AP1000s.

Haiyang 1 hydro tests

Cold hydrostatic tests of the primary circuit were successfully completed at unit 1 of the Haiyang plant in Shandong province on 2 July.

China will complete construction of the four AP1000 units currently under construction at Sanmen in Zhejiang province and at Haiyang in Shandong province. Sanmen unit 1 is expected to be the first AP1000 to begin operating, in September, while Haiyang 1 is expected to start up by the end of the year. Containment tests have already been successfully conducted at both units. All four Chinese AP1000s are scheduled to be in operation by the end of 2017.

SOURCES – world nuclear news, world nuclear association