First criticality for Hongyanhe unit

22 January 2013

Unit 1 of the Hongyanhe plant in Liaoning province in northeast China has moved closer to commissioning by achieving a sustained chain reaction.

Hongyanhe Phase I construction (CGNPC)
The four CPR-1000 units under construction at Hongyanhe Phase I (Image: CGNPC)

The 1080 MWe reactor achieved first criticality on 16 January, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co (CGNPC) and China Power Investment Corp (CPI) reported.

Construction of Hongyanhe 1 - the first of four CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors (PWRs) currently being built at the Hongyanhe Phase I project - started in August 2007.

Cold testing of the nuclear island of Hongyanhe 1 was successfully completed in October 2012. Since then, further tests have been conducted to check the operation of equipment and instrumentation under normal working conditions, prior to the reactor entering the commissioning phase. Previously scheduled to begin commercial operation by the end of 2012, Hongyanhe 1 now looks set to enter operation this year. All four units at Phase I should be in operation by the end of 2014.

An adjacent site - Hongyanhe Phase II - will comprise two further CPR-1000 units. A ceremony was held in July 2010 to mark the breaking of ground for the two units. However, work on those units was suspended while China reconsidered its plans following the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The Hongyanhe plant is owned and operated by Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co, a joint venture in which CGNPC and CPI each hold a 45% stake, with the Dalian Municipal Construction Investment Co holding the remaining 10%.

The CPR-1000 is the standardized design which is derived from the Areva-supplied PWRs at Lingao and Daya Bay in Guangdong province.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News