Unit 1 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in China’s Fujian province has reached full capacity for the first time. Meanwhile, first concrete could soon be poured at the plant’s fifth unit, the first-of-a-kind Hualong One reactor.
Fuqing 1 reached 100% power at 5.00pm on 7 November, plant constructor China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (CNEC) announced today.
Further tests remain before the reactor will reach the next official stage, commercial operation. Achieving that status requires regulatory approval and a program of operational tests including a run lasting 168 hours at its full rated power output of 1080 MWe.
Construction of the Chinese-developed CPR-1000 began in November 2008. The reactor achieved first criticality on 24 July 2014 and was connected to the grid on 20 August.
The Fuqing plant will eventually house six Chinese-designed pressurized water reactors. The first four units of the plant are CPR-1000 reactors. Unit 2, construction of which began in June 2009, is expected to start operating in August 2015. First concrete was poured for units 3 and 4 in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Those reactors should begin operation in February 2016 and March2017.
Preparatory work for the construction of Fuqing 5 and 6 – previously expected to use the ACP1000 design – is underway. However, last week plant owner China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced that the fifth and sixth units at the site will use the Hualong One design, marking its first deployment.
CNEC announced today that work on the lining for unit 5’s basemat began on 9 November. In an operation involving more than 40 workers and taking over ten hours, some 1148 cubic meters of special concrete were poured. CNEC said that completion of the lining lays “a solid foundation for the timely realization of first safety concrete.”
Once all six units at Fuqing are in operation their total generating capacity would be about 6300 MWe. CNNC has said this would provide about 10% of the electricity used in Fujian province by its population of 37.5 million people. CNNC holds a majority stake in project company the Fujian Fuqing
Nuclear Co, with the remainder held by China Huadian Corporation.