Landmarks for new Chinese nuclear plants

18 April 2012

Construction projects in China have moved forward with the dome of unit 1 of the Fangchenggang plant being lowered into place and heavy components for the primary reactor coolant system of the first EPR at Taishan have been delivered from France.

Fangchenggang dome (CNECC)
The dome is lowered onto the containment building of Fangchenggang 1 (Image: CNECC)

In an operation lasting just over two hours, the dome of the containment building of Fangchenggang 1 was raised 65 metres above the ground and lowered into place on 13 April, which officials said was 17 days ahead of schedule. The dome has a diameter of 37 metres, a height of 11 metres and a weight of almost 145 tonnes. It was put into place on top of the containment vessel walls at 7.10pm.

Construction of the first of two domestically-developed 1000 MWe CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors, which will form Phase I of the Fangchenggang nuclear power plant, began in July 2010. The plant - about 45 kilometres from the border with Vietnam - is a project of Guangxi Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Group, a joint venture between China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co and Guangxi Investment Group. The plant is planned to eventually house six units.

The cost of constructing Phase I is RMB 25 billion ($3.7 billion). Some 87% of the equipment to be used in the Phase I units is expected to be sourced from Chinese suppliers. The first unit is scheduled to begin operating in 2015, while the second will start up in 2016.

Taishan components

Taishan steam generator (Areva)
One of the steam generators on its journey to Taishan (Image: Areva)

Areva announced that the first two steam generators and the pressurizer for unit 1 of the Taishan EPR power plant had been delivered to the construction site in China's Guangdong province.

The steam generators - 25 meters long and weighing 550 tonnes each - were manufactured at Areva's plant at Chalon-St Marcel. They were first transported to Fos-sur-Mer in southern France, before being shipped onwards by sea to the Taishan site where they are being kept in storage awaiting installation. The two remaining generators and the reactor pressure vessel internals are in transitand due to arrive in coming weeks.

Taishan 1 and 2 are the first two reactors based on Areva's EPR design to be built in China. The first two EPRs planned for the site form part of an €8 billion ($10.4 billion) contract signed by Areva and the Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC) in November 2007. The Taishan project, 140 kilometres west of Hong Kong, is owned by the Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited, a joint venture between EDF (30%) and CGNPC.

First concrete was poured in October 2009, and unit 1 should begin operating in 2013, with unit 2 in 2014. The construction of two further EPRs at Taishan is expected to begin by 2015.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News