CGN's first Hualong One reactor starts supplying electricity

11 January 2023

Unit 3 of the Fangchenggang nuclear power plant in China's Guangxi Autonomous Region has been connected to the grid for the first time, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced. The unit - the first of two demonstration Hualong One (HPR1000) reactors at the site - is scheduled to enter commercial operation in the second half of 2023.

Fangchenggang unit 3 (Image: CGN)

The 1180 MWe (gross) pressurised water reactor was synchronised with the grid at 8:29pm on 10 January, CGN said, "marking that the unit has the ability to generate electricity and is moving towards the goal of commercial operation".

First concrete was poured for the nuclear island of unit 3 of the Fangchenggang plant - 39% owned by Guangxi Investment Group and 61% by CGN - in December 2015, while that for unit 4 was poured a year later. Unit 3 was originally expected to start up in 2019, with unit 4 scheduled to start up in 2020. Both their start-ups were subsequently postponed until 2022.

In January 2022, CGN announced that the start up of Fangchenggang 3 and 4 had been put back due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It said the start of operation of unit 3 had been put back to the second half of 2022, with that of unit 4 expected in the first half of 2024. However, in December, CGN announced Fangchenggang 3 would now not begin operation until the first half of 2023.

The unit achieved first criticality - a sustained chain reaction - on 27 December.

The two demonstration units of China National Nuclear Corporation's (CNNC's) version of the Hualong One design at the Fuqing plant in Fujian province have both already started up. Unit 5 entered commercial operation on 30 January 2021, with unit 6 following on 25 March 2022.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News