China completes tests on reactor pressure vessel for first new version of a domestic nuclear reactor design

The reactor pressure vessel for unit 5 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant has completed hydraulic pressure tests. The unit – the first of two demonstration Hualong One units being built at the site in China’s Fujian province – is expected to start up in 2019.

In November 2014, CNNC announced that the fifth and sixth units at Fuqing will use the domestically-developed Hualong One pressurised water reactor (PWR) design, marking its first deployment. The company had previously expected to use the ACP1000 design for those units, but plans were revised in line with a re-organisation of the Chinese nuclear industry. China’s State Council gave final approval for construction of Fuqing units 5 and 6 in mid-April 2015.

The pouring of first concrete for Fuqing 5 began in May 2015, marking the official start of construction of the unit. Construction of unit 6 began in December 2015. The units are scheduled to be completed in 2019 and 2020.

Construction of two Hualong One units is also under way at China General Nuclear’s Fangchenggang plant in Guangxi province. Those units are also expected to start up in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Last month, hydraulic pressure testing was completed on the reactor pressure vessel for the demonstration CAP1400 unit to be built at Shidaowan in China’s Shandong province. That design is an enlarged version of the AP1000 PWR developed from the Westinghouse original by State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation, with consulting input from the Toshiba-owned company.

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