Construction cleared for China's first Hualong One units

16 April 2015

China's State Council has given final approval for construction of units 5 and 6 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in Fujian province. They will be demonstration units for the domestically-developed Hualong One reactor design.

Fuqing 5 nuclear island pit - 460 (CNNC)
Work on Fuqing 5's nuclear island is well advanced in preparation for first concrete
(Image: CNNC)

During a meeting yesterday, chaired by Chinese premier Li Keqiang, the State Council approved construction of the new units. Their construction had been approved earlier this month by the National Development and Reform Commission.

In a statement, the State Council said, "Technologies used in the Hualong One reactor are based on experience gained after two decades of producing nuclear power for civilian use and have taken reference from the world's top-notch designs." It added, "Intellectual property rights for key technologies and equipment used in nuclear power plants will facilitate the country's efforts to explore third party markets."

The council also noted, "The project will adopt the highest international safety standards, and improve on existing emergency plans to ensure the safety of construction and operation."

In November 2014, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced that the fifth and sixth units at Fuqing will use the Hualong One design, marking its first deployment. The company had previously expected to use the ACP1000 design for those units, but plans were revised in line with a re-organisation of the Chinese nuclear industry.

Site preparations are well advanced for Fuqing 5, which had previously been slated to start construction before the end of 2014. According to that schedule it would be in operation in around 2019. CNNC is reportedly now lilely to pour first concrete for Fuqing 5 by mid-2015.

Hualong One development

In 2012 central planners in Beijing directed CNNC and the other large nuclear builder and operator, China General Nuclear (CGN), to 'rationalise' their reactor programs. This meant CNNC's ACP1000 and CGN's ACPR1000 were 'merged' into one standardised design - the Hualong One.

In fact, each company has its own supply chain and their versions of Hualong One will differ slightly (units built by CGN will use some features from the ACPR1000), but the design is considered to be standardised. It is set for wide deployment in China as well as export to other countries.

CGN's version of the reactor design has already been approved for use at units 3 and 4 of its Fangchenggang site.

Although it is still officially listed as being ACP1000, Pakistan's Karachi Coastal Power station is likely to be the first export Hualong One units. In February, China and Argentina agreed to cooperate on construction of a Hualong One reactor in the South American country.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News