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Construction of new Chinese power plant begins

The first safety-related concrete has been poured for the nuclear island of unit 1 at the San’ao nuclear power plant in Zhejiang province, China General Nuclear (CGN) has announced. A total of six Chinese-designed Hualong One pressurised water reactors are planned for the site.

In May 2015, the National Energy Administration approved the project to carry out site protection and related demonstration work. On 2 September last year, the executive meeting of the State Council approved the construction of units 1 and 2 as the first phase of the plant. China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration issued a construction permit for the two units on 30 December. At 9.30am the following day, Yuan Jiajun, secretary of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China and director of the Standing Committee of the Provincial People’s Congress, issued a construction start order and a ceremony was held to mark the official start of construction of unit 1.

This project marks the first Chinese nuclear power project involving private capital, with Geely Technology Group taking a 2% stake in the plant. CGN holds 46% of the shares of the project company Cangnan Nuclear Power, with other state-owned enterprises holding the remainder.

CGN Chairman and General Manager Yang Changli said the company “will use the strength of the entire group to give full play to the advantages of more than 30 years of continuous nuclear power construction and the construction experience of the Hualong One, carry out the political responsibility for nuclear safety, and work with all participating units to build the San’ao nuclear power project into a quality project”.

In September, China’s State Council also approved the construction by China National Nuclear Corporation and China Huaneng Group of two Hualong One reactors as the second phase – units 3 and 4 – of the Changjiang plant in Hainan province. Construction of those two units has yet to start.

The approvals for the new units followed a slowdown in conventional large-scale nuclear power project approvals in recent years. Eight new reactors were approved in 2015, but only the construction of a demonstration fast reactor was permitted between 2016 and 2018. Three projects were agreed in early 2019.

With the official start of construction of unit 1 of the San’ao plant, CGN now has seven nuclear power reactors under construction with an installed capacity of 8.21 GWe. It currently has 24 units in operation, with an installed capacity of 27.14 GWe.

Source: World Nuclear News