Chinese control room contract awarded

20 January 2009

A $250 million contract for four control rooms at two new Chinese nuclear power stations has been awarded to US-based technology company Invensys Process Systems (IPS).

The contract for control rooms at the Fuqing and Fangjiashan nuclear plants includes critical control and safety systems which, IPS said, would provide the two plants with "the most advanced, fully digitized nuclear control and safety environment available." IPS is to provide an integrated technology platform for both safety and control systems, and includes an advanced Reactor Protection System utilizing functional software and hardware diversity.

Ling Ao Phase I
Ling Ao Phase I. One part of China's nuclear energy strategy is to
replicate this plant many times over


Construction work formally began at the Fuqing and Fangjiashan sites in the last months of 2008. Both sites will be home to two 1080 MWe CPR-1000 reactors. The design is developed from the two French-designed PWRs which were reproduced with 30% local content at Ling Ao. Now this plant is to be reproduced very widely with around 80% local content. The first units at Fuqing and Fangjiashan is scheduled to start up in 2013, with the second following in 2014. Both projects are under the control of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), contracted to China Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (CNPE).

Invensys CEO Ulf Henriksson hailed the contract as the start of a long-term partnership that would create a safe, reliable and efficient nuclear power capability for China. "We are pleased to enter into this strategic relationship with China and to partner with CNPE to help increase China's capacity for clean power generation," he said.

IPS boasts over half a century of experience as a "significant supplier" to the global nuclear industry, supplying control systems to 100 nuclear plants, nearly a quarter of the world's operating nuclear units. The Texas-based technology, software and consulting firm is part of the London-based Invensys Group.

China's electricity demand is growing very rapidly. Its 11 currently operating nuclear power plants provide nearly 8600 MWe of capacity but meet only around 2% of electricity demand. China plans to increase nuclear capacity to 50-60 GWe by 2020 and then to 120-160 GWe by 2040, and aims to become self-sufficient in reactor design and construction as well as other aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle. In addition to the first units at Fuqing and Fangjiashan, 2008 also saw the start of construction Hongyanhe 1, Ningde 1 and 2 and Yangjiang 1, bringing the total number of nuclear units under construction in China to 11.