China’s Sanmen 2 cleared for fuel loading

10 July 2018

Unit 2 of the Sanmen nuclear power plant in China has received regulatory approval for fuel loading, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced today. Unit 1 of the plant was connected to the grid on 30 June, becoming the world's first AP1000 to achieve grid connection and power generation.

Sanmen units 1 and 2 (Image: CNNC)

CNNC said the approval for fuel loading of unit 2 had been received from the National Nuclear Safety Administration on 4 July. The regulator had supervised the nuclear safety of the construction process and pre-loading tests at the unit, the results of which indicated that the reactor was ready for fuel loading, CNNC said.

The notice, published on the website of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, states that CNNC must "strictly abide" by the requirements of technical specifications and quality management to ensure nuclear safety during fuel loading and operation of the unit after loading.

Conditions laid out in the report include a regular safety review to be conducted every ten years. It also says that the Final Safety Analysis Report and Emergency Plan for the unit should be "reviewed regularly" to reflect the latest technical and operational management requirements and be reported to the National Nuclear Safety Administration for approval.

Following fuel loading, the pre-commissioning stages will include, it says: first criticality; 5% rated power; 50% rated power; and 90% of rated power. On completion of these stages, the operator will then seek approval for commissioning the unit.

Hot tests at Sanmen 2 were completed in January and it is expected to begin operating by the end of this year.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News