Regulator details Taishan 1 commissioning schedule

21 June 2018

Unit 1 of the Taishan nuclear power plant is expected to be connected to the grid next month and achieve full-power operation by September, according to China's nuclear safety regulator. The unit, which achieved first criticality earlier this month, is expected to become the first EPR reactor to enter commercial operation, which it is scheduled to later this year.

Taishan 1 and 2 - November 2017 - 460 (CGN)
Taishan units 1 and 2, pictured in November 2017 (Image: CGN)

In response to media questions to its director Liu Hua, the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) said today that Taishan 1 is currently undergoing low-power tests. Plans call for the reactor to be connected to the external power grid in July and for it to reach 100% capacity during the third quarter.

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 (USD9.5 billion) contract signed by Areva and China General Nuclear (CGN) in November 2007. The Taishan project - 140 kilometres west of Hong Kong - is owned by the Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited, a joint venture between EDF (30%) and CGN.

Construction of Taishan units 1 and 2 began in 2009 and 2010, respectively. CGN began loading fuel assemblies into Unit 1's core on 10 April following the issuance that day of a permit from the NNSA. The reactor achieved first criticality on 6 June. Taishan 2 - which is in the equipment installation phase - is scheduled to begin operating next year.

Taishan 1 was the third EPR unit to begin construction, in November 2009. It followed Finland's Olkiluoto 3 in August 2005 and France's Flamanville 3 in December 2007. Olkiluoto 3, the first-of-a-kind EPR, has completed hot functional tests and is preparing to load fuel, while fuel loading at the Flamanville EPR is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

"For the new nuclear power technology projects, such as the Taishan EPR, the NNSA has been implementing the most stringent safety review and supervision," the regulator said. "Since 2013, NNSA has organised a total of over 400 person-years of various professional review missions, reviewed 13 technical documents - such as the final safety analysis report for Taishan 1 and 2 - and held four nuclear tests." NNSA noted that it invited nuclear regulatory authorities from France, Finland and the UK, as well as representatives from the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, to witness inspections of Taishan 1.

NNSA said the Taishan nuclear power plant project is "a model of Sino-French cooperation, reflecting the achievements of domestic and foreign construction companies that combine strengths, complement each other and cooperate in the division of labour".

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News