First criticality for Chinese reactor

24 July 2014

Unit 1 of the Fuqing plant in China's Fujian province has moved closer to commissioning by achieving a sustained chain reaction.

Fuqing 1 first criticality 460 (CNNC)
Workers in the control room of Fuqing 1 bring the unit to first criticality (Image: CNNC)

The 1087 MWe reactor achieved first criticality at 5.00am on 24 July, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said.

Construction of Fuqing 1 started in November 2008. A total of 157 fuel assemblies were loaded into the reactor last month following the successful completion of hot testing of the unit's nuclear island in early March.

The Fuqing plant will eventually house six Chinese-designed pressurized water reactors. It is the company's first plant based on the CPR-1000 design. Unit 2, construction of which began in June 2009, is expected to start up in September. Ground was broken for Fuqing unit 3 and 4 in June 2009. Those reactors should begin operation in mid-2015 and mid-2016, respectively.

The CPR-1000 is the standardized design which is derived from the Areva-supplied PWRs at Lingao and Daya Bay in Guangdong province.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News