Construction starts on eighth Tianwan unit

25 February 2022

Construction of unit 8 at the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China's Jiangsu province officially got under way on 25 February with the pouring of first concrete for the reactor's nuclear island. The unit is one of four VVER-1200 reactors to be supplied by Russia to China under a 2018 agreement.

Construction starts on Tianwan 8 (Image: ASE)

In June 2018, Russia and China signed four agreements, including for the construction of two VVER-1200 reactors as units 7 and 8 of the Tianwan plant. In addition, two further VVER-1200 units were to be constructed at the new Xudabao (also known as Xudapu) site in Huludao, Liaoning province.

Work on Tianwan 7 and 8 and Xudabao 3 and 4 was launched on 19 May last year at a ceremony attended via video-link by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The ceremony included the pouring of first concrete for Tianwan 7.

Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced today that a ceremony had now been held at the construction site of Tianwan 8 to mark the pouring of first concrete.

"The documentation prepared by the engineers of the St Petersburg Design Institute of Atomenergoproekt JSC and handed over to the Chinese customer made it possible to start the concrete pouring procedure according to the schedule," AtomStroyExport (ASE) said.

The Tianwan plant is the biggest example of Russian-Chinese economic cooperation, Rosatom said. The first two Tianwan units are Russian-built VVER-1000 reactors, which have been in commercial operation since 2007. Three years later, Rosatom and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) signed a general contract for the construction of the next stage of the Tianwan project - units 3 and 4, which entered commercial operation in 2018.

In March 2019, a ceremony was held in Beijing to sign a general contract for the construction of Tianwan units 7 and 8. Under this project, an intergovernmental agreement and a framework contract were signed for the construction of VVER-1200 reactors. In accordance with this, Rosatom will design the nuclear island and supply the key equipment, as well as provide nuclear fuel for both units. The units are scheduled to be commissioned in 2026-2027.

"Cooperation between Russia and China in terms of nuclear power plant construction has been going on for more than a decade," noted Alexei Bannik, Vice President for Projects in China at ASE.

"We know and appreciate each other as effective partners, good friends and assistants in the implementation of the most important strategic projects. Now we are working on the implementation of new contracts - four of the most powerful generation 3+ VVER-1200 units should be connected to the Chinese power system in the coming years. The design and delivery of the equipment is already being carried out actively and without any interruptions. We have the most important construction work ahead of us."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News