Vogtle-3 fuel load has begun

October 14, 2022, 12:01PMNuclear News
Vogtle Unit 3 in September. (Photo: Georgia Power)

Georgia Power announced this morning that fuel loading at Vogtle-3 has commenced, marking an important milestone on what has proved to be a long and bumpy road to startup and commercial operation of the first new nuclear power reactors to be built in the United States in more than three decades. (Major work on the Vogtle-3 and -4 project began in 2012, with a price tag of $14 billion and scheduled unit start dates of 2016 and 2017. The project’s total cost is now expected to exceed $30 billion.)

China’s second Hualong One reactor starts commercial operation

March 29, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
The Fuqing nuclear power plant. (Image: CNNC)

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+.

Second UAE reactor starts commercial operation

March 28, 2022, 2:46PMNuclear News
Unit 2 at the UAE’s Barakah nuclear plant. (Photo: ENEC)

Unit 2 at the United Arab Emirates’ Barakah nuclear power plant has entered commercial operation, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced on March 24. Unit 2 adds an additional 1,400 MW of zero-carbon emission electricity to the UAE’s national grid, bringing the total amount of electricity produced at Barakah to 2,800 MW.

China’s HTR-PM demonstration project advances

November 16, 2021, 7:00AMNuclear News

A rendition of the HTR-PM. [CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE]

The second of the twin reactors making up the Shidaowan nuclear power plant’s high-temperature gas-cooled reactor pebble-bed module (HTR-PM) demonstration project reached initial criticality on November 11, China Huaneng Group has announced.

The milestone was achieved two months after the HTR-PM’s first unit had reached initial criticality. The two 200-MWe reactors are connected to a single steam turbine.

China Huaneng holds a 47.5 percent stake in the HTR-PM, with the remaining shares distributed between China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (32.5 percent) and Tsinghua University (20 percent). Construction of the facility, located in northeast China’s Shandong Province, began in 2012, led by Chinergy, a joint venture between CNEC and Tsinghua.

First UAE unit begins commercial operation

April 6, 2021, 3:02PMNuclear News
Barakah-1 (right) is now providing reliable and sustainable electricity around the clock. Photo: ENEC

Unit 1 at the United Arab Emirates’ Barakah nuclear power plant has entered commercial operation and is now providing “constant, reliable, and sustainable electricity around the clock,” the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced this morning. ENEC added that, as a result of the event, the company now leads the largest decarbonization effort of any industry in the UAE.

First Hualong One reactor connected to grid

December 2, 2020, 6:59AMNuclear News

China’s Fuqing nuclear plant. Photo: CNNC

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.

New unit delivers first electricity to Russian grid

October 30, 2020, 7:02AMNuclear News

Rosenergoatom, the electric power division of Russia’s state-owned nuclear power corporation Rosatom, announced on October 23 that Leningrad II-2 has been connected to the grid. The unit is one of two Generation III+ VVER-1200 pressurized water reactors at the Leningrad nuclear plant.

The reactor will replace Leningrad I-2, a 925-MWe RBMK-1000 light-water–cooled graphite-moderated reactor that will permanently cease operation at the end of 2020 after 45 years of service. Fuel loading at Leningrad II-2 began in July, and initial criticality was achieved in August. Following the trial operation, the unit will be shut down for an additional equipment inspection by a state commission before being put into commercial operation early next year, according to Rosenergoatom.

Leningrad II unit reaches first criticality

September 2, 2020, 9:27AMNuclear News

Rosatom officials and plant staff celebrate in the control room at Leningrad II-2 as the unit achieves first criticality. Photo: Rosatom

Rosenergoatom, the electric power division of Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear power corporation, announced on August 31 that Leningrad II-2 has achieved initial criticality. The unit is one of two Generation III+ VVER-1200 pressurized water reactors at the Leningrad nuclear plant.

Leningrad II-2 is scheduled for commercial start early next year, replacing Leningrad I-2, a 925-MWe RBMK-1000 light-water–cooled graphite-moderated reactor that will permanently cease operation at the end of 2020 after 45 years of service. Fuel loading at Leningrad II-2 began in July.