Fourth Chinese AP1000 enters commercial operation

09 January 2019

Unit 2 of the Haiyang nuclear power plant in China's Shandong province has completed 168 hours of full-power continuous operation and is now deemed to be in commercial operation. It becomes the fourth AP1000 unit in China to reach the milestone.

Haiyang 1 and 2 (Image: SPIC)

Haiyang 2 completed the full-power demonstration test run at 4:00pm today, State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) has announced. The reactor has now met "commercial operation conditions", it said. Although China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) must still obtain necessary permits and documentation, the unit is now considered to be in commercial operation.

In September 2007, Westinghouse and its partner the Shaw Group received authorisation to construct four AP1000 units in China: two at Sanmen in Zhejiang province and two more at Haiyang. Construction of Sanmen 1 began in April 2009, while first concrete for Sanmen 2 was poured in December 2009. Construction of Haiyang 1 and 2 began in September 2009 and June 2010, respectively.

Sanmen 1 was the world's first AP1000 to start up, achieving first criticality - a sustained chain reaction - on 22 June last year and grid connection on 2 July. It reached full power operation for the first time on 14 August and entered commercial operation on 21 September.

Unit 1 of the Haiyang plant attained first criticality on 8 August and was grid connected on 17 August. That unit began commercial operation on 22 October.

Sanmen unit 2 attained first criticality on 17 August and was connected to the grid on 24 August. The reactor entered commercial operation on 5 November.

Haiyang 2 achieved first criticality on 29 September and was connected to the grid on 13 October.

Together, Haiyang units 1 and 2 will provide some 20 TWh of electricity to the grid annually, sufficient to meet one-third of household demand in Shandong province, SPIC noted.

With the start of commercial operation of Haiyang 2, mainland China now has 46 power reactors in operation with a combined installed capacity of more than 45 GWe.

Four AP1000 reactors were also being built in the USA - two each at Vogtle and Summer. However, construction of the two Summer units was suspended in August 2017. Vogtle 3 and 4 are scheduled to start operating in November 2021 and November 2022, respectively.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News