China's first new-generation reactor to start construction

04 January 2008

China's first AP1000 reactor is to start construction at Sanmen in March. The announcement was made on 29 December 2007 and a ceremony was held at the future construction site.

Sanmen 1 will be the first of four of the Westinghouse-design Generation III+units. Two are to be built at Sanmen in Zhejiang province while the other two are for Haiyang, in Shandong province. Construction at Haiyang is also set to start later this year.


The first Sanmen unit is expected online in August 2013 and should be the world's first Westinghouse AP1000 in service, while 12 are at various stages of planning in the USA and more are mooted for other countries.


China's State Nuclear Power Technology Company (SNPTC) said that site works were on schedule and it had received 117 boxes of technical documents from Westinghouse, weighing some 2.2 tonnes.

China's vice premier, Zeng Peiyan, said SNPTC should take this chance and quicken the pace of nuclear industry development in China. He added that it was a significant step tochanging the financial development and structure of China's power industry. 

SNPTC was set up in 2004 to take charge of technology selection for new plants being bought from overseas suppliers. It is directly under China's State Council and closely connected with it. The two plants will be built and run by subsidiaries of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) for Sanmen and of China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) for Haiyang. 


In April 2007 Westinghouse signed a $350 million contract with Doosan Heavy Industries in South Korea for two pressure vessels and four steam generators for two of the AP1000 units. Those for the other two are likely to be made in China.