Fuel loading at Ningde 1

19 October 2012

The first core of nuclear fuel is being loaded at China's newest power reactor, Ningde 1 in Fujian province. Construction on the unit began less than four years ago.

The reactor is slated to begin operation in December this year, 44 months after the pouring of first concrete that marked the official start of construction in February 2008. The loading of uranium fuel can only occur once tests have given assurance that all nuclear safety equipment is properly installed and operational. Engineers began the fuel loading process on 28 September, one day after being granted permission by the National Nuclear Safety Administration.

Ningde impression (460x199)
An impression of how Nindge could look when all six planned units are complete

Ningde 1 is the first of six CPR-1000 reactors for the island site, three more of which are currently under construction. In an unusual layout, two pairs of reactors are on the mainland, while another pair is on a small offshore island connected by a breakwater. Another parallel breakwater connects a second island and affords the facility a port.

The project was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission in September 2006, and local content will be about 75% for units 1 and 2 and about 85% for units 3 and 4. The project is led by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group with investment from Datang International Power Generation and Fujian Coal Group.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News