China connects first unit at Fuqing nuclear plant to power grid

The first unit of six at Fuqing nuclear power plant in Fujian province has been connected to the grid, becoming the 21st operating power reactor in China, according to the World Nuclear Association.

Construction of the 1,020 MWe CPR-1000 reactor for China National Nuclear Corp. and China Huadian Corp (with 45 percent share) took 69 months, due to delays following the Fukushima accident. Unit 1 started up last month and is expected in commercial operation in November.

Three more CPR-1000 reactors are under construction on the site. Fuqing is CNNC’s first plant using competitor CGN’s technology.

Fuqing is also China Huadian’s first venture into nuclear power, it being the third of the big five generating companies formed in 2002 to make this move with equity.

China Datang Corp has a 44 percent share of Ningde nuclear power plant. China Huaneng Group has a 49 percent stake in Changjiang nuclear plant under construction, and plays a role in both the Shidaowan high-temperature reactor project under construction and has six large PWRs planned there, including the first CAP1400 evolved from Westinghouse design.

China Guodian Corp is the fifth, so far trailing the field with nuclear development apart from very minor stakes, but set to catch up in the 2020s. The project engaged all five major state corporations, together responsible for over 1,100 GWe of generation capacity (similar to US total, 20 percent more than EU).

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