Work starts on sixth Hongyanhe unit

24 July 2015

Construction started today on the sixth unit of the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant in China's Liaoning province, plant owner China General Nuclear (CGN) announced.

Hongyanhe 6 first concrete - 460 (CGN)
Workers pour the first concrete for Hongyanhe 6's basemat (Image: CGN)

The pouring of first safety-related concrete for the reactor's basemat marks the official start of construction of the unit, the second of two 1080 MWe CGN-designed ACPR1000 reactors that will form the second phase of the Hongyanhe plant.

A ceremony to mark the breaking of ground for Phase II of the Hongyanhe plant was held in July 2010. Following a hiatus of 15 months in new reactor approvals and licensing in response to the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, CGN received approval from the National Development and Reform Commission on 10 March to build Hongyanhe units 5 and 6. This marked the first approval for new reactors in four years. Construction of unit 5 began on 29 March. That unit is scheduled to begin operating in November 2019, while unit 6 is expected to start up in August 2020.

Construction of Phase I of the Hongyanhe plant, comprising four CPR-1000 units, began in August 2009. Units 1 and 2 have been in commercial operation since June 2013 and May 2014, respectively. Unit 3 was connected to the grid on 23 March. The loading of fuel into unit 4 is about to begin, CGN said, in preparation for start-up later this year.

According to CGN, once all six units are in operation, the Hongyanhe plant will generate around 45 billion kWh of electricity annually, avoiding the need to burn some 15 million tonnes of coal for power generation and the resulting emissions of some 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

CGN currently has 13 operable reactors with a combined generating capacity of 13.8 GWe and a further 13 units under construction which will provide an additional 15.6 GWe of capacity.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News