China revises commissioning dates of EPRs

22 February 2017

The two EPR units under construction at the Taishan nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province will not enter commercial operation until the second half of 2017 and the first half of 2018, respectively. This is some six months later than originally scheduled.

Taishan 1 and 2 - 460 (CGN)
The two EPR units under construction at Taishan (Image: CGN)

Taishan 1 and 2 are the first two reactors based on Areva's EPR design to be built in China. They form part of an €8 billion ($8.7 billion) contract signed by Areva and CGN in November 2007.

In a 20 February statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, China General Nuclear subsidiary CGN Power said: "Following a comprehensive evaluation on the subsequent engineering construction plan and relevant risks, and after due consideration, it has been decided to adjust the construction plan of the Taishan project."

The company said that as no other EPR units have yet been brought into operation, "more experimental verifications in respect of its design and equipment" will be conducted at the Taishan units. This, it said, "requires a longer engineering construction time".

CGN said its "will continue to maintain a pro-active working attitude and effective working manner, co-ordinate the resources and strengths of the parties involved, strengthen control and management of safety, quality, progress and investment, as well as strive to progress smooth implementation of Taishan Nuclear's power generating units."

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 French utility EDF (30%) and CGN.

Taishan 1 is currently in the commissioning phase. The unit completed cold functional tests in January 2016 and passed a containment pressure test in June. In November, it entered into the early stage of hot functional testing. Unit 2 is in the equipment installation phase.

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, which is now expected by 2018. The Flamanville EPR in France, construction of which began in 2007, is now expected to start up in late 2018.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News