CGN's Hualong One design certified for European use

12 November 2020

China General Nuclear's (CGN's) Hualong One (HPR1000) reactor design has been formally certified as compliant by the European Utility Requirements (EUR) organisation - a technical advisory group for European utilities on nuclear power plants. CGN said EUR's assessment shows the design has a high degree of compliance with its criteria and meets the latest European nuclear power requirements.

A rendering of a plant based on the HPR1000 (Image: CGN)

The requirements cover a broad range of conditions for a nuclear power plant to operate efficiently and safely. They include such areas as plant layout, systems, materials, components, probabilistic safety assessment methodology and availability assessment. Although still requiring regulatory design approval in each country, EUR compliance indicates that the reactor design meets a list of requirements set by the utilities for the next generation of light water reactors.

EUR's assessment of the HPR1000 was launched in August 2017 and involved CGN and EUR utility members CEZ, EDF, Fortum, Energoatom, GEN Energija, NRG, Paks II, Preussen Elektra, Rosenergoatom and Tractebel. The assessment comprised four stages: application, preparation, detailed evaluation and finalisation. The HPR1000 design has been evaluated based on the design description document, and dozens of additional design documents provided by CGN. More than 10,000 pages of demonstration and justification documents have been submitted by CGN and analysed by the EUR assessment project team. A total of 864 question sheets were issued and answered during the assessment.

The result of the compliance analysis concerning the 5037 EUR requirements indicated "a good level of compliance" for the HPR1000 design, EUR said. Less than 1% of the EUR requirements have been identified as not compliant. Manuel Carrasco, chairperson of the EUR Steering Committee, delivered the certificate to CGN on 20 October.

The EUR effort was launched in December 1991 by several European utilities to produce a common set of utility requirements endorsed by major European utilities for the next generation of LWR nuclear power plants. It was modelled on the US Electric Power Research Institute's Utility Requirements Document for advanced LWRs.

CGN's HPR1000 is the seventh reactor design so far to be certified by the EUR. Atomenergoproekt's VVER TOI was certified in June 2019, while Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power's APR1400 was certified in October 2017. Mitsubishi Heavy Industry's EU-APWR was certified in October 2014. Areva's EPR was certified in July 2009. In May 2007, the Westinghouse AP1000 was certified, while AtomStroyExport's AES-92 advanced semi-passive VVER-1000 design was awarded a similar certificate the previous month.

In 2012, central planners in Beijing directed CGN and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) to 'rationalise' their reactor programmes. This meant CNNC's ACP1000 and CGN's ACPR1000 were 'merged' into one standardised design - the Hualong One. CGN refers to its version of Hualong One as the HPR1000. In fact, each company has its own supply chain and their versions of Hualong One will differ slightly (units built by CGN will use some features from the ACPR1000), but the design is considered to be standardised. It is set for wide deployment in China as well as export to other countries.

General Nuclear Services - a subsidiary of EDF and CGN - proposes to use the HPR1000 at a prospective new nuclear power plant in Bradwell, England. CGN is constructing two demonstration HPR1000 reactors at the Fangchenggang site in China's Guangxi Autonomous Region. This is the reference plant for the Bradwell project. First concrete was poured for the nuclear island of Fangchenggang unit 3 in December 2015, while that for unit 4 was poured a year later. Those units are expected to start up in 2022.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News