Approval granted for four new Chinese units

04 September 2020

China's State Council has approved the construction of four Hualong One reactors: two as phase one of the San'ao plant in Zhejiang province and two as the second phase of the Changjiang plant in Hainan province. Total investment in the projects exceeds CNY70 billion (USD10 billion).

A rendering of how the Changjiang site could appear on completion of phases 1 and 2 (Image: China Huaneng)

At a 2 September meeting, the State Council noted that actively and steadily promoting the construction of nuclear power projects is an important measure to expand effective investment, enhance energy support, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The approvals for the new units follow a slowdown in conventional large-scale nuclear power project approvals in recent years. Eight new reactors were approved in 2015, but only the construction of a demonstration fast reactor was approved between 2016 and 2018. Three projects were approved in early 2019.

Following the new approvals, two Hualong One units will be built as phase two - units 3 and 4 - of the Changjiang plant by state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China Huaneng Group. This follows the signing of an agreement between the two companies in June 2019, through which they agreed to jointly invest in the development, construction, operation and management of two Hualong One reactors at Changjiang. Huaneng will hold a controlling 51% stake in the project through its subsidiary Huaneng Nuclear Power Development Company. Construction of unit 3 is scheduled to be completed in 2025, with unit 4 following in 2026.

CNNC and Huaneng are also cooperating in phase one of the Changjiang plant (which comprises two CNP-600 pressurised water reactors), the Shidaowan HTR-PM project (a demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor in Shandong province) and the 600 MWe demonstration fast reactor at Xiapu, Fujian province. For phase 1 of the Changjiang plant, Huaneng holds a 49% stake, with CNNC holding the remaining 51%. In July last year, CNNC announced the launch of a project to construct an ACP100 small modular reactor at the Changjiang site.

The State Council has also approved the construction of two Hualong One units at China General Nuclear's (CGN's) new San'ao site in Zhejiang province.

This project will mark the first Chinese nuclear power project involving private capital, with Geely Technology Group will take a 2% stake in the plant. CGN holds 46% of the shares of the project company Cangnan Nuclear Power, with other state-owned enterprises holding the remainder.

Construction permits for the Changjiang and San'ao projects must now been issued by the National Nuclear Safety Administration before construction can begin.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News