Work on Xudabao unit 1 gets under way

16 November 2023

Construction has started of the nuclear island for unit 1 at the Xudabao nuclear power plant in Liaoning Province, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced.

Workers mark the start of construction of the nuclear island of Xudabao 1 (Image: CNNC)

The construction of units 1 and 2 of the Xudabao (also known as Xudapu) plant was approved by China's State Council on 31 July this year.

On 6 November, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced that the National Nuclear Safety Administration had decided to issue a construction licence for Xudabao units 1 and 2, which will both feature 1250 MWe CAP1000 reactors - the Chinese version of the Westinghouse AP1000.

A ceremony was held on 15 November at the Xudabao site near Xingcheng City, Huludao, to mark the start of construction of unit 1.

The Xudabao project was originally expected to comprise six 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.

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. CNNC said "the work of the units 3 and 4 projects is progressing smoothly as planned". These units are expected to be commissioned in 2027 and 2028, respectively.

CNNC noted the total investment in the units 1 and 2 projects exceeds CNY48 billion (USD6.6 billion). "After the nuclear island project of unit 1 starts, the project will enter the comprehensive construction stage," it said. The two units are planned to be put into production in 2028 and 2029, respectively.

With construction of Xudabao 1 under way, CNNC now has ten reactors being built in China, with a combined generating capacity of 11.42 GWe.

The Xudabao plant is owned by Liaoning Nuclear Power Company Ltd, in which CNNC holds a 70% stake with Datang International Power Generation Co holding 20% and State Development and Investment Corporation owning 10%. The general contractor is China Nuclear Power Engineering Company Ltd, a subsidiary of CNNC.

In October 2016 an EPC contract for construction of Xudabao 1 and 2 nuclear islands was signed with China Nuclear Industry 22 Construction Co, a CNECC subsidiary.

After all the six units of the Xudabao plant are put into operation, they will provide more than 54 TWh of clean electricity every year, saving about 19.2 million tonnes of coal annually, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 56.7 million tonnes annually, CNNC said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News