First criticality for Fuqing 2

23 July 2015

Unit 2 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in China's Fujian province has achieved a sustained chain reaction for the first time. The reactor is expected to enter commercial operation later this year.

Fuqing 2 first criticality - 450 (CNNC)
Workers celebrate as Fuqing 2 achieves first criticality (Image: CNNC)

The 1087 MWe CPR-1000 pressurized water reactor (PWR) achieved first criticality at 1.54pm on 22 July, plant owner China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced.

Construction of unit 2 began in September 2009. The loading of 157 fuel assemblies into the reactor's core was carried out in May following the successful completion of hot testing of the unit's nuclear island. Fuqing 2 is scheduled to enter commercial operation next month.

CNNC's Fuqing plant will eventually house six Chinese-designed PWRs. Unit 1 started up in July 2014, was connected to the grid the following month and entered commercial operation in November. Ground was broken in June 2009 for Fuqing unit 3 and 4, which will also feature CPR-1000 reactors. Unit 3 should begin operation in late-2015, while unit 4 is scheduled to start up in 2017.

The CPR-1000 is the standardized design which is derived from the Areva-supplied PWRs at Lingao and Daya Bay in Guangdong province. Fuqing units 1 and 2 have been built with a localization rate of some 75%, while units 3 and 4 will have a localization rate of no less than 80%.

China's State Council gave final approval for construction of Fuqing units 5 and 6 in mid-April. Earlier this month, first concrete was poured for the fifth unit. This will be a demonstration indigenously-designed Hualong One reactor.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News