China launches Phase II of Fangchenggang and Tianwan projects

30 December 2015

First concrete was poured for unit 3 of the Fangchenggang nuclear power plant in China's Guangxi province on 24 December, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced. The event was attended by Zhang Xiaoqin, vice-chairman of Guangxi, who officially launched Phase II of the Fangchenggang nuclear power plant project.

Fangchenggang 3 first concrete - 460 (CGN)
First concrete is poured at Fangchenggang 3 (Image: CGN)

Three days later, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced that first concrete had been poured for unit 5 of the Tianwan nuclear power plant in Jiangsu province. Zhizhong Wang, deputy secretary-general of Jiangsu, said the Tianwan expansion project had thus officially begun.

China's State Council on 16 December approved the construction of two more units at each of the Fangchenggang and Tianwan nuclear power plant sites. The council gave its approval for units 5 and 6 of the Tianwan plant. These units will feature 1080 MWe ACPR1000 reactors and will be 50% owned by CNNC, 30% by China Power Investment and 20% by Jiangsu Guoxin Asset Management Group. It also approved the construction of two Hualong One reactors as units 3 and 4 of the Fangchenggang plant. These units are owned 61% by CGN and 39% by Guangxi Investment Group.

Tianwan 5 first concrete - 460 (CNNC)
Construction of Tianwan 5 gets under way (Image: CNNC)

CGN said on 24 December that Fangchenggang 1 will soon enter commercial operation, while "good progress” is being made with unit 2. Describing Hualong One as its "flagship brand", CGN agreed in October to form a joint venture company with EDF Energy to seek regulatory approval for a UK version of the design.

Construction of the first two units at the Fangchenggang plant began in July 2010. The reactor pressure vessel of unit 1 was put in place in August 2013, while that for unit 2 followed in September 2014. The loading of 157 fuel assemblies into the core of unit 1 was completed on 6 September and it achieved first criticality on 13 October. Units 1 and 2 are scheduled to begin operation this year and next year, respectively. Unit 1 was connected to the electricity grid on 25 October.

A total of six reactors are planned to operate there. Units 1 and 2 are both CPR-1000s, units 3 and 4 are planned to be based on Hualong One reactors, and units 5 and 6 are to be AP1000s. All of these are models of large PWRs. Fangchenggang 3 and 4 will be the reference plant for the proposed Bradwell B plant in the UK.

Construction of Tianwan 5 and 6 was originally scheduled to start in early 2011. However, following the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, the Chinese government suspended the approval of new nuclear power projects. The Tianwan Phase III units were amongst those suspended.

CNNC said on 27 December that unit 5 is to enter commercial operation in December 2020 and unit 6 in October 2021.

Tianwan Phase I - units 1 and 2 - was constructed under a 1992 cooperation agreement between China and Russia. First concrete was poured in October 1999, and the units were commissioned in June 2007 and September 2007 respectively. Tianwan Phase II - units 3 and 4 - will be similar to the first stage of the Tianwan plant, comprising two Russian-designed 1060 MWe VVER-1000 pressurized water reactors. First concrete for unit 3 was poured in December 2012, while construction of the fourth unit began in September 2013. Construction of unit 4 entered the equipment installation phase, following installation on 26 September this year of its containment dome. These units are expected to start operation in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News