Unit 4 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in China’s Fujian province achieved a sustained chain reaction for the first time on 16 July, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced yesterday. The unit is expected to enter commercial operation later this year.
Operators in Fuqing 4’s control room (Image: CNNC)Following inspections of the unit, China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration issued a licence on 9 June for fuel to be loaded into Fuqing 4. The process of loading the 157 fuel assemblies into the reactor core began on 13 June and was completed on 19 June.
CNNC said that after a series of critical tests, Fuqing 4 will start producing power and grid connection tests will be carried out on the turbo-generators. After that, a series of commissioning tests will be conducted at the unit, including a load test run and other relevant testing before entering full-power demonstration operation. It is scheduled to enter commercial operation by the end of this year.
CNNC’s Fuqing plant will eventually house six Chinese-designed pressurised water reactors, the first four being 1087 MWe CPR-1000 units. Units 1 to 3 entered commercial operation in November 2014, October 2015 and October 2016, respectively.
China’s State Council gave final approval for construction of Fuqing units 5 and 6 in mid-April. First concrete was poured for the fifth unit in May 2015, while that for unit 6 was poured in December. These will be demonstration indigenously-designed Hualong One reactors.
The Fuqing nuclear power plant project is owned by CNNC subsidiary China Nuclear Power Company (51%); Huadian Fuxin Energy Company (39%); and Fujian Investment and Development Group (10%).