The six units at the Fuqing plant (Image: CNNC)
Fuqing 6 - the second of two demonstration Hualong One (HPR1000) reactors at the site - reached full power output on 19 February, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has announced.
"All parameters were normal," it noted. "A solid foundation has been laid for the demonstration project to be fully put into commercial operation."
China's State Council gave final approval for construction of Fuqing units 5 and 6 in April 2015. The pouring of first concrete for Fuqing 5 began in May 2015, marking the official start of construction of the unit. Construction of unit 6 began in December the same year. Unit 5 was connected to the grid on 27 November 2020, having achieved first criticality on 21 October, and became the first Hualong One to enter commercial operation on 30 January last year.
The process of loading the 177 fuel assemblies into the core of Fuqing 6 began on 6 November 2021. The unit achieved first criticality on 11 December and was connected to the grid on 1 January.
Hongyanhe 6 approaches startup
China General Nuclear (CGN) said the NNSA conducted a comprehensive inspection of Hongyanhe 6 between 14 and 18 February prior to the issuance of an operating licence.
"The inspection team inspected the operation of the relevant facilities and systems of unit 6 on site, checked the relevant documents, procedures, reports and records of construction, commissioning and production preparation, and communicated with relevant technical and management personnel," the company said. "The inspection team approved the preparations for the operation of unit 6 and put forward five rectification requirements for issues found in the inspection."
Construction of Phase I (units 1-4) of the plant, comprising four CPR-1000 pressurised water reactors, began in August 2009. Units 1 and 2 have been in commercial operation since June 2013 and May 2014, respectively, while unit 3 entered commercial operation in August 2015 and unit 4 in September 2016.
Phase II of the Hongyanhe plant - units 5 and 6 - comprises two 1080 MWe CGN-designed ACPR-1000 reactors. Construction of unit 5 began in March 2015 and that of unit 6 started in July the same year. Unit 5 achieved first criticality in June last year and entered commercial operation on 31 July. Unit 6 is scheduled to start operating during the first half of 2022.
The Hongyanhe plant is owned and operated by Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Company, a joint venture between CGN and State Power Investment Corporation, each holding a 45% stake, with the Dalian Municipal Construction Investment Co holding the remaining 10%.
The ACPR-1000 - a three-loop unit with double containment and core-catcher - was launched by CGN in November 2011. In 2012 central planners in Beijing directed CNNC and CGN, to 'rationalise' their reactor programmes. This meant CNNC's ACP1000 and CGN's ACPR-1000 were 'merged' into one standardised design - the Hualong One (HPR1000). Yangjiang units 5 and 6 were the first ACPR-1000 units to enter commercial operation, in July 2018 and July 2019, respectively. Units 5 and 6 of the Tianwan plant, also ACPR-1000s, entered commercial operation in September 2020 and June 2021, respectively.