Chinese plants make headway

29 October 2013

Two more nuclear power plants in China are progressing towards commissioning. Hongyanhe's second unit has achieved first criticality, while fuel loading has begun at Yangjiang unit 1.

Hongyanhe 2 criticality (CGN)_460
We have criticality: Hongyanhe 2's operator announces the unit's achievement of a sustained chain reaction (Image: CGN)

China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) announced that Hongyanhe 2 reached criticality on 24 October. Work began on the 1080 MWe Chinese-designed CPR-1000 reactor in Liaoning province in 2008. Hongyanhe 1, also a 1080 MWe CPR-1000, began commercial operation earlier this year. Work is also under way on two further CPR-1000s at the site.

Meanwhile, work has begun to load nuclear fuel into the first of four CPR-1000s under construction at Yangjiang in Guangdong province. The unit has been undergoing pressure tests since construction work was completed in June. Systems including diesel back-up generators have also been tested, and safety exercises including emergency drills were completed at the plant prior to it receiving regulatory permission to commence fuel loading.

Work began on Yangjiang 1 in 2008, with units 2-4 following in in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Work began earlier this year on Yangjiang 5, the first of two ACPR-1000 units - a more advanced version of the CPR-1000 design - planned for the site, making Yangjiang the largest nuclear construction site in the world. Unit number 6 is slated to start construction in 2014, and all six reactors should be in operation by 2018.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News