China starts construction on 2 reactors

February 21, 2024, 3:03PMNuclear News
Concept art showing the proposed layout of the six-unit Jinqimen plant. (Image: CNNC)

Construction formally began this week on two new nuclear reactors in China.

The China National Nuclear Corporation held a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the first phase of construction of the Jinqimen nuclear power plant in the eastern province of Zhejiang.

The project: CNNC plans to build two 1,200-MWe Hualong One reactors as the first phase of this new plant. Construction plans were approved by China’s State Council this past December, and CNNC officials have said the project has undergone a comprehensive safety review.

CNNC subsidiary CNNC Zhejiang Energy Co. Ltd. will be responsible for project investment, construction, and operations management of the new plant.

Hualong One is a Generation III pressurized water reactor developed by CNNC. It’s considered to be the Chinese version of the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor. The first Hualong One reactor began commercial production in 2021 at the Fuqing nuclear plant in the province of Fujian.

Nuclear growth: In total, six units are planned for the Jinqimen site and are expected to produce a combined 55 terawatt-hours of power annually, which CNNC officials estimate will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 50 million metric tons.

China is the third-largest nuclear-producing country but could surpass number-two France once Jinqimen’s planned reactors in operation. Currently, China has 55 operating reactors with plans to build 36 more.

CNNC’s Hualong One reactors have also been exported to Pakistan, where they were constructed as Karachi-2 and -3, with one more planned as Unit 5 of Chashima nuclear power plant.

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