Six reactors approved for construction in China

01 August 2023

China's State Council has approved the construction of six nuclear power units: units 5 and 6 of the Ningde plant in Fujian Province; units 1 and 2 of the Shidaowan plant in Shandong Province; and units 1 and 2 of the Xudabao plant in Liaoning Province.

The Shidaowan site (Image: China Huaneng)

The approvals, made at a State Council executive meeting on 31 July chaired by Premier Li Qiang, mark the first approvals for Chinese nuclear power projects so far in 2023. In 2022, a total of 10 new reactors were approved.

"Safety and quality will be the top priority in the construction of these projects," the State Council said in a statement.

In a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, China General Nuclear (CGN) said units 5 and 6 of the Ningde plant would feature Chinese-designed HPR1000 (Hualong One) pressurised water reactors.

"Currently, the company and Ningde Second Nuclear Power Co Ltd are carrying out various preparatory work for the construction of Ningde unit 5 and unit 6 in an orderly manner," it said. "Construction will begin when the Permit for Nuclear Power Station Construction has been obtained from the National Nuclear Safety Administration."

CGN noted Ningde was the first nuclear power plant to be constructed and put into operation in Fujian Province. The plant currently comprises four 1018 MWe CPR-1000 reactors, which began commercial operation between April 2013 and July 2016.

"As of 30 June 2023, the cumulative on-grid electricity of the four units in the first phase of the project is 257.9 billion kilowatt-hours," it said. 

CGN also said approval had been received for two Hualong One units as units 1 and 2 of the Shidaowan plant "under Huaneng Group, which is fully participated in the project construction by CGN".

China Huaneng noted the two units have already "undergone a comprehensive safety assessment review and been incorporated into the national plan". It added: "The expansion project of Shidaowan Nuclear Power Plant Phase I is the second large-scale pressurised water reactor nuclear power project developed by China Huaneng Holdings after the Phase II project of Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant."

The Shidaowan site is already home to the demonstration High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor-Pebble-bed Module (HTR-PM), which reached full power operation for the first time in December 2022. The HTR-PM features two small reactors that drive a single 210 MWe turbine. It is owned by a consortium led by China Huaneng (47.5%), with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) subsidiary China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (32.5%) and Tsinghua University's Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology (20%), which is the research and development leader.

Meanwhile, CNNC subsidiary China Nuclear Power Co Ltd informed the Shanghai Stock Exchange that it had received approval for units 1 and 2 of the Xudabao (also known as Xudapu) plant. While not disclosing the reactor design planned for the two units, it said each unit would have a capacity of 1291 MW.

"CNNC Liaoning Nuclear Power Co Ltd, which is controlled by our company, is the owner unit of the approved project, responsible for project investment, construction and operation management," CNNC noted. "At present, the project site is steadily and orderly promoting various preparatory work before the start of construction."

The Xudabao project was originally expected to comprise six Chinese-designed CAP1000 reactors, with units 1 and 2 in the first phase. Site preparation began in November 2010. The National Development and Reform Commission gave its approval for the project in January 2011. China's National Nuclear Safety Administration announced its approval of the site selection for Xudabao units 1 and 2 in April 2014. However, construction of those units has yet to start.

However, with a change in plans, construction of two Russian-supplied VVER-1200 reactors as Xudabao units 3 and 4 began in July 2021 and May 2022, respectively.

Construction of the six approved units represents an estimated total investment of CNY120 billion (USD16.8 billion), China Daily reported.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News