China’s second Hualong One reactor starts commercial operation
The Fuqing nuclear plant’s Unit 6, one of two Chinese-designed and -developed Hualong One reactors at the site, has entered commercial operation, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced on March 25. The milestone was reached some 14 months after the reactor’s twin, Fuqing-5, became the first Hualong One in the world to enter commercial operation.
Also known as the HPR1000, the Hualong One is a 1,000-MWe Generation III pressurized water reactor that incorporates design elements of CNNC’s ACP1000 and China General Nuclear Power Group’s ACPR1000+.
With the commercial start of Unit 2 at Pakistan’s Karachi plant in May 2021, there are now three Hualong One reactors in operation. Unit 3 at Karachi, also a Hualong One, is expected to start later this year. Additional units are under construction at China’s Changjiang, Fangchenggang, Taipingling, and Zhangzhou sites.
Fuel loading at Fuqing-6 commenced in November of last year. Initial criticality was achieved in December, and grid connection in January 2022. The reactor reached full power in February.
What they’re saying: “This is of great significance for optimizing China's energy mix, facilitating green and low-carbon development, and achieving the country’s peak carbon and carbon neutrality goals,” CNNC stated in a press release.
The two units will generate approximately 20 billion kWh of electricity per year—the equivalent of reducing standard coal consumption by 6.24 million tons, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 16.32 million tons, or planting more than 140 million trees, according to the company.
“In addition,” CNNC said, “the Hualong One has driven more than 5,300 enterprises in the upstream and downstream industry chains, bringing huge economic benefits and opportunities for the transformation and upgrading of China’s high-end equipment manufacturing industry.”
Noteworthy: The Fuqing plant, located in Fujian Province, also houses four 1,000-MWe CNP-1000 units, the first of which began commercial operation in 2014.