Unit 5 at China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNC) Fuqing nuclear plant in southeastern China’s Fujian Province has become the world’s first Hualong One reactor to be connected to the power grid, the company announced on November 27. “It was confirmed on-site that all technical indicators of the unit met the design requirements and that the unit was in good condition,” CNNC said.
Fuel loading at Fuqing-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, and initial criticality was achieved on October 21. The unit is scheduled to enter commercial operation before the end of the year.
Also known as the HPR1000, the Hualong One is a Chinese-designed and -developed 1,000-MWe Generation III pressurized water reactor, incorporating design elements of CNNC’s ACP1000 and China General Nuclear’s ACPR1000+ reactors. Fuqing-5’s twin HPR1000, Fuqing-6, is scheduled to start contributing power to the grid next year.
More on the way: 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 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, while two CNNC units are under construction at Pakistan’s Karachi plant, with commercial start dates of 2021 and 2022.
A worldwide welcome: Sama Bilbao y León, director general of the World Nuclear Association, said, “China has recently joined the ever-expanding list of countries seeking to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, and its growing fleet of nuclear reactors will be central to achieving this goal. China’s investment in nuclear energy will also continue to contribute to the global nuclear industry’s Harmony goal of 1,000 new reactor start-ups before 2050, enabling nuclear energy to supply 25 percent of the world’s electricity needs.”