Second EPR at China's Taishan site connected to grid

28 June 2019

Unit 2 of the Taishan nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province has been connected to the electricity grid, becoming the second EPR reactor to reach the commissioning milestone after Taishan 1. Unit 2 is expected to enter commercial operation later this year.

Taishan units 1 and 2 (Image: TNPJVC)

The Taishan project - 140 kilometres west of Hong Kong - is owned by the Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited (TNPJVC), a joint venture between EDF (30%) and China General Nuclear (CGN). Unit 1 of the power plant started construction in 2009, followed by unit 2 in 2010. These two units are the third and fourth EPR units under construction globally. The EPR design adopted in Taishan was developed by Framatome.

On Twitter, Framatome said the grid connection of Taishan 2 earlier this week "is recognition of our technological expertise in the commissioning of EPR reactors". It added, "Taishan 2 will soon be providing electricity for hundreds of thousands of Chinese homes."

Taishan 1 and 2 are the third and fourth EPR units under construction globally, after the Olkiluoto 3 project in Finland and the Flamanville 3 project in France. Two EPR units are also under construction at the Hinkley Point C project in Somerset, UK.

Taishan 1 achieved first criticality on 6 June last year and was connected to the grid on 29 June. It was declared to be in commercial operation on 13 December.

The loading of fuel into the core of unit 2 began in May this year and it attained a sustained chain reaction for the first time on 28 May.

Fuel is expected to be loaded into the first-of-a-kind EPR at Olkiluoto in the coming months, with the start of regular electricity generation scheduled for 2020.

The loading of fuel into the core of the Flamanville EPR in France was expected towards the end of this year but earlier this month EDF said start-up of the unit may be delayed until the end of 2022 because of necessary repairs to welds in its primary circuit.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News