China's Changjiang 1 enters commercial operation

30 December 2015

Unit 1 of the Changjiang nuclear power plant on China's southern island province of Hainan has entered commercial operation, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced on 25 December. The 650 MWe CNP-600 pressurized water reactor was connected to the electricity grid on 7 November. 

Changjiang units 1 and 2 - 460 (CNI23)
Changjiang units 1 and 2 (Image: CNNC)

Initial approval for the Changjiang plant's construction was granted by China's National Developmental and Reform Commission in July 2008. Early site works began in December that year. Construction of unit 1 began with the pouring of first concrete on 25 April 2010, while that for unit 2 was poured on 21 November that year.

The loading of the 121 fuel assemblies into the core of Changjiang 1 began on 26 August and the reactor achieved first criticality on 12 October. It is expected to begin commercial operation by the end of this year, while unit 2 is set to start up next year.

The plant, near Hoi Mei Tong village, is being built as a joint venture between CNNC and China Huaneng Group, with shares split 51% and 49%, respectively. The plant will eventually comprise four units, with units 3 and 4 housing either CNP-650 or ACP-600 reactors. Construction of both those units is scheduled to begin by 2018.

CNNC said on 25 December that the two units will together provide one-third of the electricity needs of Hainan. By using nuclear power instead of coal-fired generation, the units will avoid the emission of about 7.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, it added.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News