Nuclear construction launch in China

23 June 2009

Work to build a new reactor at Fuqing, China has been officially launched - three months ahead of schedule. Construction at various stages is now ongoing for six units at the site.


Fuqing 2 ceremony
Dignitaries launch the next phase of the
Fuqing power plant amid a sea of red,
chosen for good luck (Image: CNNC)
A ceremony was held last week at which a range of dignitaries commended the speed at which developments are coming. Fuqing is to be a six-reactor plant, based on CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors, which can now be built almost completely from the Chinese supply chain.


One unit is already under construction at the site, having started in November last year. Unit two officially joined it to the sound of a gun salute on 17 June. They should enter operation in 2013 and 2014 respectively.


Preliminary permission was granted for the other four units in April by the National Development and Reform Commission with ground being broken for units 3 and 4 early this month, and excavation for units 5 and 6 already about 30% complete. The overall 6000 MWe project is expected to cost 100 billion yuan ($14.7 billion).


China National Nuclear Company (CNNC) said that preliminary design work for units 1 and 2 is complete and it is satisfied that construction and equipment design work meets the requirements for the project. Procurement of major components is running on schedule, with contracts for units 3 to 6 under development.


The astonishing pace of nuclear development in China - Fuqing is just one of seven multiple reactor power plants currently being built - is part of a national plan to have 72 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2020.