Unit 5 at China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNC) Fuqing nuclear power plant has achieved initial criticality, becoming the very first Hualong One reactor to reach that milestone, the company announced on October 22. If all goes according to schedule, the unit will enter commercial operation later this year.
Fuel loading for Unit 5 began on September 4, following the issuance of the reactor’s operating license by China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment. The loading of 177 sets of fuel assemblies was completed on September 10.
Also known as the HPR1000, the Hualong One is a Chinese-designed, 1,000-MWe Generation III pressurized water reactor. Fuqing-5’s twin HPR1000, Fuqing-6, is scheduled to start contributing power to the grid next year.
Located in China’s Fujian Province, Fuqing also houses four 1,000-MWe CPR-1000 PWRs, with commercial start dates of November 2014, October 2015, October 2016, and September 2017.
On the horizon: In addition to the new units at Fuqing, CNNC is building two Hualong One reactors at the Zhangzhou site in Fujian Province (construction of Unit 1 began in October 2019, while Unit 2’s construction commenced just recently) and one at Taipingling in Guangdong Province, with another planned for the site.
Also, China General Nuclear is building two Hualong One reactors (Units 3 and 4) at its Fangchenggang plant in Guangxi Province.