Second Fuqing Hualong One enters commercial operation

25 March 2022

Unit 6 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in China's Fujian province - the second of two demonstration Hualong One (HPR1000) reactors at the site - has been put into commercial operation, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has announced. Unit 5 became the first Hualong One to enter commercial operation last year.

Units 5 and 6 of the Fuqing plant (Image: CNNC)

The process of loading the 177 fuel assemblies into the core of Fuqing 6 began on 6 November 2021. The unit achieved first criticality on 11 December and was connected to the grid on 1 January. It reached full power output on 19 February.

The 1000 MWe (net) pressurised water reactor completed a demonstration run lasting 168 hours on 25 March and has now entered commercial operation.

China's State Council gave final approval for construction of Fuqing units 5 and 6 in April 2015. The pouring of first concrete for Fuqing 5 began in May 2015, marking the official start of construction of the unit. Construction of unit 6 began in December the same year. Unit 5 was connected to the grid on 27 November 2020, having achieved first criticality on 21 October, and became the first Hualong One to enter commercial operation on 30 January last year.

CNNC noted the two units will generate approximately 20 billion kWh of electricity per year, which is equivalent to reducing standard coal consumption by 6.24 million tonnes, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 16.32 million tonnes, or planting more than 140 million trees. "This is of great significance for optimising China's energy mix, facilitating green and low-carbon development, and achieving the country's peak carbon and carbon neutrality goals," it said.

The company said it has cooperated with 17 domestic universities and scientific research institutions, 58 state-owned enterprises and more than 140 private enterprises to jointly develop equipment for the Hualong One, including reactor pressure vessels, steam generators and reactor internals. Including the localisation of 411 sets of equipment, more than 700 patents and more than 120 software copyrights have been obtained, covering design technology, special design software, fuel technology, operation and maintenance technology and other fields. In addition, the Hualong One has driven more than 5300 enterprises in the upstream and downstream industry chains, bringing huge economic benefits and opportunities for the transformation and upgrading of China's high-end equipment manufacturing industry, CNNC said.

Construction of two demonstration Hualong One (HPR1000) units is also under way at China General Nuclear's Fangchenggang plant in the Guangxi Autonomous Region. Those units are expected to start up in 2022 and 2024, respectively. CNNC has also started construction of two Hualong units at the Zhangzhou plant in Fujian province, plus the first of two units at Changjiang in Hainan.

Two HPR1000 units are under construction at Pakistan's Karachi nuclear power plant. Construction began on Karachi unit 2 in 2015 and unit 3 in 2016. Karachi 2 entered commercial operation in May last year, with unit 3 scheduled to follow later this year.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News