Fuel loading under way at Chinese EPR

11 April 2018

China General Nuclear (CGN) has begun loading fuel into the core of unit 1 of the Taishan nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province following the issuance of a permit from the regulator. The unit is later this year scheduled to become the first EPR reactor to enter operation.

Taishan 1 fuel loading - 460 (CGN)
Fuel loading operations begin at Taishan 1 (Image: CGN)

CGN said the Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company - a joint venture between CGN (70%) and EDF (30%) that owns the plant - was issued with the permit yesterday afternoon in Beijing by Liu Hua, vice minister of ecology and environmental affairs and director of the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA).

In a statement the NNSA said that, before the first loading of materials, it had conducted a five-year safety review of the Taishan nuclear power project and dispatched on-site supervisors for the entire construction process. The project meets the design safety goals and the construction quality is good, it added.

Operations to load the first fuel assembly into the core of Taishan 1 began at 8.18pm, CGN said.

Taishan 1 and 2 are the first two reactors based on the EPR design to be built in China. They form part of an EUR8.0 billion (USD9.9 billion) contract signed by Areva and CGN in November 2007. Construction of unit 1 and 2 began in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Taishan 1 is expected to start up later this year, while Taishan 2 - which is in the equipment installation phase - is scheduled to begin operating next year.

The first-of-a-kind EPR at Finland's Olkiluoto plant has been under construction since 2005 and has seen several revisions to its start-up date, with grid connection now scheduled to take place in December and the start of regular electricity production in May next year. Fuel loading at the Flamanville EPR in France, construction of which began in 2007, is expected to begin the fourth quarter of this year. Two further EPRs are planned at Hinkley Point in the UK.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News