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China Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 08/06 - 08/10

NNSA Releases Hold Point for Sanmen Unit 2’s First Criticality

Following the NNSA-led nuclear safety review of Sanmen Unit 2 from July 23rd to 26th, the East China Nuclear and Radiation Safety Center confirmed that the NPP satisfies prerequisite conditions for its first criticality, which was confirmed by the NNSA in its decision to release the hold point.


Haiyang Unit 1 Reaches First Criticality, Unit 2 Begins Fuel Loading

On the morning of August 8th, Haiyang Unit 1 achieved its first criticality and maintained steady operations in a low power state. Later in the afternoon at 3:26 p.m., Haiyang Unit 2 began its first fuel-loading operations, firmly earning both Haiyang units “loaded operation” status.


Tianwan Unit 5 Begins Primary Pipe Wielding 66 Days Ahead of Schedule

Tianwan Unit 5 recently began primary pipe wielding, reaching this “key milestone” 66 days ahead of schedule. The primary pipe wielding is expected to be finished within 6 months.


Fuqing Unit 5’s Turbine Control System Passes Pre-Shipping Inspection

On August 4th Fuqing Unit 5’s turbine control system passed pre-shipping inspection. CNPE, Fuqing Nuclear Power Company, China Nuclear Power Engineering Consulting Company, Dongfang Electric, and Siemens Numerical Control Ltd. conducted performance analyses and cleared the turbine control system for shipment.  


Self-developed CAP1400 Steam Generator Passes Acceptance Inspection

Spanning August 6th to 7th, the National Energy Administration reviewed the results of the “Study and Development of CAP1400 Steam Generator Project” and accepted its findings. The CAP1400 steam generator prototype is jointly developed by many companies and institutions including SNERDI, Dongfang Electric (Guangzhou) Heavy Machine Company, Shanghai Electric, China First Heavy Industries, and Erzhong Group Deyang Heavy Industries Company, Shanghai Heavy Machinery Plant Company, State Nuclear Power Plant Service Company.


China Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 07/30 - 08/03

NNSA Conducts Nuclear Safety Review of Sanmen Unit 2 for its First Criticality Hold Point Release

An NNSA inspection team recently visited Sanmen NPP and conducted a nuclear safety review on whether to release Unit 2 from its first criticality hold point. The inspection team listened to reports on the plant’s fuel-loading operations, first criticality preparations, commissioning and operational status of related equipment, and its handling of outstanding concerns. This meeting was followed by field inspections and further discussion of concerned issues. This review is an important step in the decision-making process to release Sanmen Unit 2 from its first criticality hold point. 

August 06 Update: NNSA earlier today announced the release of the hold point for Sanmen Unit 2's first criticality. 


SNPTC: Sanmen & Haiyang Units Will Have Higher On-grid Tariffs than Initially Proposed

SNPTC has recently revealed the latest developments of its AP1000 units. “Sanmen Unit 1 is now at 75% power and all performance indicators meet design requirements. We project that it will begin commercial operation before the end of the year. Haiyang Unit 2 is expected to load fuel for the first time this month following the completion of fuel-loading at Haiyang 1 and Sanmen 2.” Said Mr. Li Shaogang, Vice Director of SNPTC’s General Affairs Office. Addressing the project’s repeated schedule delays, Xie Jianxun, Manager of the Engineering Management Department, said that the latest calculated total costs of the Sanmen and Haiyang projects are now both at approximately RMB 50 billion, 10 billion more Yuan than the initial 40 billion estimate. Xie also said that cost overruns are commonly seen in the international nuclear industry for a first-of-a-kind reactor design. Therefore, the on-grid tariffs for both projects will be higher than initial valuation, although final figures have yet to be determined. Regarding future new (C)AP1000 builds, Zhang Shujun, General Manager of the Equipment and Fuel Management Department, is optimistic about construction schedules: “the first locally manufactured canned-motor pump has already been jointly produced by Shenyang Blower and Harbin Electric, and its test results so far are all satisfactory. Additionally, the pump is currently undergoing a tear-down inspection.” He thinks that the pump, which is considered “localized key equipment”, will no longer be cause for schedule delay, as was the case with Sanmen Unit 1. Localization of the AP1000 has proceeded at a steady rate. Sanmen Unit 1 was only able to localize 25% of its manufacture and construction, while the number for Haiyang Unit 2 is 70%. The average localization rate is about 55% for the four units at Sanmen & Haiyang. “China now has the capability to manufacture 6-8 sets of AP/CAP equipment per year,” said Zhang. While speaking on the subject of AP series status updates, Li Shaogang also added that the CAP1400 demo project is ready to begin construction.


Shanghai Electric May Halt its Takeover of Karachi Electric Due to Low Local Tariffs

Shanghai Electric released an announcement on July 28th stating, “due to the potentially volatile local tariffs and its impact on the profitability of the subject company, SEC may terminate the deal.” Karachi Electric is the transmission company for Karachi Province of Pakistan, and the lower than expected local tariffs is believed to be the main reason for Shanghai Electric’s hesitation. Pakistan is seen as a “model country” along the Belt & Road Initiative route and the termination of such a deal may lead to second guesses and similar results. There is also suspicion that SEC’s hesitation may also have something to do with the recent Pakistani election. 


China Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 07/23 - 07/27

Curtailment of Nuclear Power Eased – CGN’s 21 Units Now Operating at Full Capacity

Dispatch of nuclear power in some regions of China has faced barriers in recent years due to low electricity demand. CGN recently announced that curtailment of its nuclear power has been eased as of this year. With Fangchenggang Unit 1’s increase of operating capacity to 100%, CGN’s 21 operational units are now all operating at full capacity for the first time.


CNNC Bought RMB 1.34 Billion Worth of Land in Tianjin for the Planned University of China Nuclear Industry

On the morning of July 25th, CNNC bought a piece of land in Tianjin’s Binhai New District for RNB 1.34 billion. 61% of the 507,100m2 land will be used to build an education complex and research facilities to eventually become the University of China Nuclear Industry. CNNC has committed to invest at least RMB 1.5 billion in construction costs and, according to a contract signed with the local government, will then transfer pre-agreed facilities to entities assigned by the local administrative committee.


China to Establish Electricity Trade Market for Nuclear and Hydro Power

The NDRC released a notice on July 18th directing the advancement of electricity market reform and the opening of an electricity trade market for clean energy like hydro power and nuclear power. The notice mandates increased participation from coal-fired power plants in the power trade market (with the eventual goal of total participation), encourages hydro power to participate in the free-market trade, and encourages local authorities and transmission companies to remove cross-regional power trade barriers. Regarding nuclear power, the NDRC states that “with nuclear safety in mind, nuclear power should be steadily and increasingly included into the power trade market and be encouraged to generate more electricity by taking part in the trade.”


Fuqing Unit 6’s Second “ZH-65” Steam Generator Has Passed Pre-shipping Inspection

Fuqing Unit 6’s second ZH-65 type steam generator has recently passed the pre-shipping inspection at Dongfang Electric’s plant in Guangzhou. The steam generator is designed and developed by NPIC, and representatives from NPIC and Fuqing Nuclear Power Company joined in conducting the inspection.


Tianwan Unit 5’s Steam Generator Shipped to Site

Tianwan Unit 5’s first steam generator was shipped from Shanghai Electric on July 25th. The steam generator is designed and procured by NPIC and manufactured by Shanghai Electric’s Representatives from Jiangsu Nuclear Power Company, CNPE, and NPIC witnessed the shipping moment.


Zhangzhou Units 1&2’s RCP “Sandbox Demonstration” Held in Shanghai

CNNP Zhangzhou Power Co., Ltd., CNPE, NPIC, and SEC-KSB conducted a joint two-day “sandbox demonstration” spanning from July 19th to the 20th to outline strategic design & manufacturing implementation plans for its reactor coolant pumps to be installed at Zhangzhou NPP units 1&2.  The “sandbox demonstration”, which was overseen and supervised by Qian Weidong, Deputy General Manager of SEC-KSB, essentially consisted of a series of presentations using PowerPoint and other digital graphic aids. Leaders and representatives from several other companies including project owners from Hainan (Changjiang NPP) and Qingshan (Qingshan NPP), as well as representatives from CNPEC, SNPEC, and various experts from Harbin Electric Co. attended the presentation. SEC-KSB responded to and successfully defended items within its proposal against critiques from the group of experts hailing from Harbin Electric Co., resulting in positive and valuable feedback and critiques from the group. The success of the meeting adds additional assurance of the timely completion of the Zhangzhou phase 1 NPP project.


China Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 07/16 - 07/20

CNNC’s New Leadership Announced: Wang Shoujun Retires, Yu Jianfeng & Gu Jun become New President and GM

After the restructuring with China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Group Corporation (CNECC), CNNC now has new leadership. On July 19th a managing conference was held to announce the central government’s decision on new appointments: Wang Shoujun, former CNNC President, is now retired and Yu Jianfeng and Gu Jun are the new President and General Manager, respectively.

CGN is Building Two More HPR1000 Units at Fangchenggang NPP

CGN’s Fangchenggang NPP currently has four units, a count that includes the two HPR1000 units under construction. The reactors planned for units 5&6 are still conducting site surveys, but are now officially slated to employ HPR1000 technology.  Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Company is now requesting public comment, a practice that is required by law.

Progress Report: Under-Construction NPPs

Fuqing Unit 5 finished main pipe welding on July 14th; Tianwan Unit 5’s RPV was successfully installed on July 16th; Karachi Unit 2’s integrated RPV head structure finished load testing in Sichuan on July 19th; Hongyanghe Unit 5’s reactor core spray pump and low-pressure safety injection pump passed pre-shipping inspection and have been shipped to site; and Fangchenggang Unit 3’s main pipe was also shipped to site.

CNNC Environmental Protection Company Seeking Cooperation with Ansaldo Nucleare

On July 17th and 18th, CNNC Environmental Protection Company held discussions with Ansaldo Nucleare regarding cooperation in nuclear waste management and decommissioning, as well as the possibility of exploring the European market together. Following its analysis on the European NPP decommissioning market, Ansaldo Nucleare found the two companies have room to cooperate within this market. Additionally, both sides reached cooperation agreements regarding multiple aspects of various future projects.

Performance Analysis Results on the Nickel Alloy 690 U-tubes Used in Steam Generators has been Reviewed and Accepted

The National Energy Administration recently reviewed the results of the “Development and Applied Performance Analysis of Alloy 690 U-tubes for Nuclear Power Steam Reactors Project”, part of the CAP1400 National Key Research Project, and upon inspection, accepted the report’s findings. The project was led by Bao Steel Special Steel Company and received additional input and participation from multiple companies and research institutes, including Shanghai Jiao Tong University, SNERDI, Central Iron & Steel Research Institute, NPIC, and Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Metal Research.


China Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 07/09 - 07/13

Yangjiang Unit 5 Finished Commissioning and is Ready for Operation

CGN Power Company announced on July 12th that Yangjiang Unit 5 has finished commissioning and is ready for commercial operation. Yangjiang NPP has completed a 168-hour demonstration operation and has begun tracking the amount of electricity uploaded to the external transmission grid. This is also CGN’s first nuclear power unit of 2018 to fulfill commercial operation requirements.


MOFCOM Anti-Monopoly Bureau Will Not Prevent the CNNC & CNECC Merger

The Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce recently released a Decision Letter which rules that MOFCOM will not to prohibit the merger of the CNNC and the CNECC. The bureau finds that the merger will further integrate resources of the two groups and establish a nuclear industry group with a complete supply chain, but will ultimately be a positive force in the industry. The merger will accelerate the pace for Chinese nuclear industry to “go out.”


A Study on the “Squib Valve Testing Methodology Project”, Part of the CAP1400/HTGR National Key Projects, is Reviewed and Accepted

The National Energy Administration’s Nuclear Power Department organized a meeting in Suzhou from July 5th to 6th to verify the results of the testing methodology. The explosive valve tech evaluation project is part of the CAP1400 and HTGR National Key Project. CNNC’s SUFA (Suzhou Valve) Technology Industry Company and Shaanxi Applied Physics and Chemistry Research Institute led the task and provided methodology and associated technology evaluation and QC support for the explosive valves.  


China’s First Nuclear Heating Industry Alliance Established in Harbin 

Initiated by the SNPTC, China’s first Nuclear Heating Industry Alliance has been established following a ceremony in Harbin. The establishment of this alliance represents another step for SNPTC towards fulfilling the central government’s policy requirements on “promoting clean heating methods in Northern China” and “safeguarding the blue sky.” The alliance is aimed at carrying out policy gals by developing safe and efficient nuclear heating technology as well as promoting the industrial nuclear heating applications. 


Taikang Life Insurance Company is Investing £1 Billion in Hinkley Point C Project

The Taikang Life Insurance Company, subsidiary of the Chinese insurance and asset management giant Taikang Group, just signed an investment contract with CGN and other shareholders to commit up to GBP 1.075 billion to the development of the Hinkley Point C (HPC) project. It is the first time that a Chinese insurance company has become involved in a nuclear power project and serves as an example of diversification of financing resources in the nuclear industry.


China Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 7/02 - 7/06

Fuqing Unit 5’s Reactor Internals (lower section) Successfully Installed

On June 29th, Fuqing Unit 5’s lower section reactor internals were successfully installed within the RPV. The reactor internals were shipped to site on April 14th and the parts for the lower section were positioned on the gantry platform on June 21st. It took field engineers only a week to place and install the RVI components within the RPV.


Tianwan Unit 5’s RPV Shipped to Site

On July 4th, Tianwan Unit 5’s reactor pressure vessel (RPV) was shipped by China First Heavy Industry (CFHI), the equipment manufacturer. The RPV was designed and procured by the Nuclear Power Institute of China and was shipped under the witness of representatives from Jiangsu Nuclear Power Company and China Nuclear Power Engineering Company.


Sanmen Unit 2 Loads Fuel

The NNSA issued the “Sanmen Unit 2’s Pre-First Fuel-loading Comprehensive Nuclear Safety Examination Report” on June 28th, which serves as a checklist and set of fuel loading instruction, and noted seven items requiring attention prior to loading fuel. The report suggested that fuel load preparation work will be considered sufficient after closing those seven items. The project owner successfully completed the required actions over the following weeks, and received the NNSA’s fuel loading license to begin fuel load on July 5th.


CNECC & CNNC Merger Update: Reorganization Plan Approved, New Leadership to be Announced Soon

The name China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Group Corporation (CNECC) has been removed from the list of “central SOEs,” signifying another step has been taken towards merging the two corporations. Reports state that the reorganization plan has been approved and that new leadership will be announced soon. The merger is actually a regrouping of the two corporations, with CNECC to be absorbed by CNNC unrecompensed. CNECC will lose its status as an independent legal entity while its publicly listed subsidiaries will not be included in the regrouping and will remain independent.


China Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 6/25 - 6/30

Sanmen Unit 1, world’s first AP1000 connected to the external power grid.

On in the early morning hours of June 30th, Sanmen Unit 1 achieved its first connection to the electrical grid with a low-power generating capacity of 65MWe. Sanmen Unit 1 began fuel loading on April 25th and reached its first criticality on the early morning hours of June 21st. Sanmen Unit 1 achieved grid connection approximately 8 hours after Taishan Unit 1 reached the same milestone on June 29, becoming China’s second third-generation nuclear power reactor to be connected to the grid and the world’s first AP1000 to reach this milestone.  


Taishan Unit 1, world’s first EPR connected to the external power grid

In the evening of June 29th, Taishan Unit 1 was connected to the electrical grid for the first time and began generating electricity. As a third generation EPR nuclear reactor, Taishan Unit 1 is the first of its kind to connect to the electrical grid and generate electricity. Taishan Unit1 is expected to reach full-power operation in the third quarter this year. Taishan Unit 1 started construction in 2009, while Taishan Unit 2 started construction in 2010 and is expected to enter service next year. They are the 3rd and 4th EPR 3G PWR nuclear reactors to start construction in the world, after the EPR projects in Flamanville, France and Okiluoto, Finland.


Progress: Tianwan Unit 5 started the lifting process for its main equipment

In recent days, the shell of Tianwan Unit 5 coolant pump was flipped and 20 meters above the ground, kicking off the lifting process for Unit 5. The flipping process was completed by the hoisting unit independently. The pump shell weighs about 30 tons and satisfies the maximum levels of quality and safety. Tianwan Unit 5 is a Generation 2+ CPR1000 design. This reactor design is employed at 22 other units within China, forming the backbone of the current operating Chinese fleet. Tianwan 5 began construction in 2016 and is projected to be connected to the grid in 2020.


SNERDI cooperating with Alibaba Cloud to develop intelligent nuclear power

On June 26th, Alibaba Cloud signed a strategic cooperation contract with SNERDI to push forward the development of intelligent nuclear power. This cooperation will use cloud computing and other technologies to benefit the industry chain partners and contribute to the digital transformation of the nuclear industry.


CGN announces joint venture with Rolls Royce to provide I&C integrated Solutions

On June 26th at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris, CGN subsidiary CTEC signed an agreement with Rolls-Royce, the British engineering group to provide instrumentation and control (I&C) integrated solutions to the global nuclear market. Under this agreement, Rolls-Royce and CTEC also committed to release a new distributed control system platform derived from a combination of their existing digital and analog technologies.


Hualong One First Export: the core instrumentation system has passed the Factory Acceptance Test (FAC)

On June 25th, the Pakistani Karachi Unit 2 core instrumentation system, designed and manufactured by NPIC, passed its FAC. The successful delivery of this system indicates that the self-developed precision and control instrumentation by NIPC will be officially exported—this is part of the Hualong One project’s “Going Out” strategy. A week earlier, on June 18th, the first export Hualong One reactor at Karachi Unit 2 finished its main pipeline welding.


CGN intends to raise 15 billion CNY, indicating the acceleration of NPP construction

On June 22nd, the China Securities Regulatory Commission revealed the A share listing files of CGN. CGN intends to issue no more than 50.5 billion shares to raise about 15 billion CNY (approximately USD 225M), which will be invested in Yangjiang Unit 5 & 6 and Fangchenggang Unit 3&4. According to the files, CGN has 20 operating NPPs with installed capacity about 21.5 GW, or 59.96% of all the operating NPPs in China. It also has 8 under construction, with installed capacity about 10.2 GW, taking up 46.10% of all the NPPs under construction. CGN is the largest nuclear power operator in China and the largest nuclear power constructor worldwide.


CGN’s Hualong One (HPR 1000) demonstration project RCP shell passed its hydrostatic test

On June 19th, the first reactor coolant pump shell of the Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Plant Phase II passed its factory hydrostatic testing. The successful outcome lays a solid foundation for the delivery of the pump and helps to ensure that the installation work will be carried out on schedule.


CEEC’s Hunan Subsidiary won the bid to design and upgrade Daya Bay’s electric control circuit system

On June 12th, CEEC’s Hunan subsidiary won the bid to design and upgrade Daya Bay’s GEW electric control circuit system. The contract involves preliminary design, construction plans, as-built drawings, and other design services. Daya Bay Nuclear Power Base consists of two plants: Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station and Ling Ao Nuclear Power Station, with 6 reactors total. The first 984 MWe reactor at Daya Bay was put into commercial operation on May 6, 1994.

Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 06/18 - 06/22

Sanmen Unit 1 reaches first criticality and Haiyang Unit 1 approved for first fuel load, both crossing major milestones

Sanmen Unit 1 reached its first criticality on June 22nd and is expected to enter commercial operation later this year. Haiyang Unit 1 received approval for its first fuel load one day earlier, on June 21st and is expected to enter commercial operation by Q4 2018 or Q1 2019 at the latest.


Hongyanhe Unit 5’s steam generator installed

Recently, with the smooth installation of Hongyanhe Unit 5’s third steam generator on its vertical support, all 3 of the unit’s steam generators were officially installed in the reactor building. During the lifting process, China Nuclear Industry 23 Construction Co., Ltd. completed rings 1, 2, and 3 on May 3rd, May 24th and June 10th, respectively, which laid the foundation for the consequent main pipe welding.


All hydraulic components of Fuqing Unit 5’s RCPs delivered to site

On June 14th, the third and final RCP hydraulic assembly for CNNC’s Hualong One Demonstration project were delivered to Fuqing Unit 5’s site.


NNSA press conference on Taishan progress: the world’s first EPR will reach grid connection in July

The National Nuclear Safety Administration convened a press conference to discuss the progress of the Taishan nuclear power plant. In April, the plant received approval from the NNSA to begin its fuel loading, in the beginning of June passed inspection and achieved its first criticality, and now, is currently in the low power test phase. The plant is expected to connect to the external power grid in July and enter full power operation in the third quarter.    


NPP Safety Grade Electric Equipment Anti-Seismic Performance Authentication (核电厂安全级电气设备抗震鉴定) national standards released, coming into effect on December 1st


Dongfang Electric signed strategic cooperation framework agreement with NPIC

On June 19th, Dongfang Electric Company and the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement. The two sides intend to deepen their strategic cooperation relationship regarding the nuclear power industry chain and build a platform for project cooperation. Before the signing ceremony, the two sides held friendly discussions on deepening cooperation and promoting independent innovation of nuclear power.


Major Milestones for Chinese AP1000s: Sanmen I has First Criticality, Haiyang I Approved for First Fuel Load

First Criticality at Sanmen I

On June 22, 2018, Chinese media reported that the world's AP1000 at the Sanmen site in China's eastern Zhejiang province had achieved its first sustained nuclear fission reaction. With this key milestone, Sanmen Unit 1 has moved yet one step closer to grid connection and eventual commercial operation, which is still predicted for the end of this year. The AP1000 at Sanmen was designed by Westinghouse Electric Company and is majority-owned by the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). The holder of the technology and primary project operator on the Chinese side is the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC), which is a business unit within the massive Chinese electricity utility State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC). The Sanmen Unit 1 plant began construction in 2009 and is more than 4 years delayed relative to the original construction schedule. As a new reactor design with numerous first-of-a-kind technology applications, the Sanmen 1 AP1000 encountered numerous challenges to its original construction timeline, including technology re-designs, faulty equipment manufacturing, hiccups in construction project management, and lengthy regulator-mandated safety reviews. Nicobar anticipates that no less than 6-10 additional Chinese reactors will begin construction in the months following the successful commercial operation of Sanmen 1, including AP1000 sites at Lufeng and Xudapu, the CAP1400s at Shidaowan, and potentially more AP1000s at Sanmen and Haiyang Phase II. 

First Fuel Load at Haiyang I

A day prior, on June 21, 2018, Chinese media also reported that the AP1000 at Haiyang Unit 1 in Shandong Province had received authorization from the NNSA to load fuel for the first time. Haiyang Unit 1 will become the second Chinese AP1000 reactor to load fuel, after Sanmen Unit 1. Haiyang Unit 1 will become the first operating nuclear asset that is majority-owned by the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (as opposed to simply being the technology license holder and operator). It is anticipated that the Haiyang 1 operation will provide a much-needed injection of operating cash for SNPTC, which has seen its key asset's completion delayed for 4+ years. An aggressive timeline for completion would mirror that of Sanmen 1, and see Haiyang 1 entering commercial operation by Q4 2018 or Q1 2019 at the latest. Haiyang 1 poured first concrete in September 2009.

Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 06/11 - 06/15

Primary Beam of Karachi Unit 3’s Ring Crane Installed

On the afternoon of June 8th, the primary beam of Karachi Unit 3’s ring crane was hoisted up and successfully lowered on the ring rail at the top of the containment building. All components of the primary beam are assembled on the ground prior to and the beam is installed as one piece. The installation technology is the same used for K2 ring crane’s primary beam. 


Tianwan Unit 5’s Containment Dome Attached

On June 10th, Tianwan Unit 5’s containment dome is successfully installed.


Tianwan Unit 3’s Tariff Released: 0.401 Yuan/kWh

The Jiangsu Province Bureau of Price recently announced that based on relevant NDRC policies, the ad hoc tariff for electricity generated by Tianwan Unit 3 is 0.401 Yuan/kWh, lower than the 0.43 national benchmark. According to the 2013 NDRC policy, the national benchmark price for nuclear power generated electricity is 0.43 Yuan/kWh. In those provinces where the coal powered benchmark prices are lower than 0.43 Yuan, nuclear tariff should adjust to the coal prices; in provinces where local coal powered electricity prices are higher than the nuclear benchmark, demonstration nuclear projects may raise their tariffs upon NDRC assessment. Tianwan Unit 3 uses a VVER V428M reactor design, which is Gen II plus technology. Thus, the unit can’t be a demonstration project.


Shielding Castle of Fuqing Units 5 & 6’s RCP Hydraulic Components Passed Pre-Shipping Inspection

The shielding castle of Fuqing Units 5 & 6’s RCP hydraulic components have recently passed pre-shipping inspection recently. The shielding castle is produced by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) 719 Institute’s Haiwang Renewable Company and will be shipped to the Fuqing NPP site soon.


Progress on 3D Printing Technology for Small Lead-based Reactor Manufacturing

The FDS Fenglin Nuclear Energy Team at the Institute of Nuclear Energy Safety Technology of Chinese Academy of Sciences have recently realized the manufacturing of Small Lead-based Reactor’s integrated tube bundles via 3D printing. The integrated tube bundles is a core component of the Small Lead-based Reactor. It requires sophisticated technology to meet its high requirements for wielding and configuration, given its condensed compact structure.


China Building a Nuclear Industry University

On June 15th, Tianjin municipal government and the CNNC singed a framework agreement on building a university dedicated to nuclear industry in Tianjin city. The university is tentatively named as China Nuclear Industry University and it may follow the model of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 06/04 - 06/08

CNNC Signs Multiple Contracts with Russia’s Rosatom for Gen III & IV Reactor Technology Cooperation

On June 8th, one day before the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Qingdao, state-owned nuclear utilities CNNC and Rosatom Corp. signed three framework agreements: the Tianwan NPP Unit 7/8 Framework Contract, the Xudapu NPP Framework Contract, and the China Demonstration Fast Reactor Equipment Supply and Service Procurement Framework Contract. According to CNNC’s announcement, Tianwan Units 7 & 8, as well as Xudapu Units 3 & 4 (phase II), will use Russian VVER-1200 reactor technology. The two parties will also cooperate on equipment and services for the China Demonstration Fast Reactor (CDFR) currently under construction at Xiapu as of December 2017.

Xudapu Unit 1 & 2 (Phase I) were approved to use the AP1000 design, and prior to Friday’s announcement it was widely assumed that Phase II would also feature AP1000 reactors. This decision represents an unprecedented break with convention to site two different Gen III design trees for construction at a single site.  The two corporations signed the contracts at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, witnessed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Putin.


Fangchenggang Unit 3’s Containment Dome Attached

On May 23rd, the containment dome of Fangchenggang Unit 3, CGN’s HPR000 demonstration project, was successfully installed. The milestone indicates that Unit 3’s civil construction phase has completed and the main installation phase has begun. The containment dome has a height of 13 meters, diameter of 45 meters and weighs more than 220 tons.


Key Progress on the National S&T Major Nuclear Project CAP1400 Demonstration Project

On April 26th, the “CAP1400 passive containment cooling system performance study and research” project passed NEA inspection. As a key safety and design feature of the CAP1400 reactor type, the passive containment cooling system uses gravity-driven injection, interior steam condensation and exterior water film evaporation to remove post-accident heat and protect the integrity of the containment. The project was issued by the NEA in 2011 as a joint project between SNERDI, SNPTC’s Huaqing Nuclear Technology Development Company, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

On June 1st, the “CAP1400 NPP digital instrumentation and control (I&C) system prototype development” project passed the NEA inspection, signifying the success of a NPP digital control system with proprietary intellectual property. A digital control system serves as the nervous system of a NPP and is key to safe and stable operation of the plant. NPP digital control technology is seen as one of the final missing pieces to reach complete localization of Gen III technology. The CAP1400 NPP digital I&C system prototype development project was established in 2014, issued by the NEA. SNPTC’s State Nuclear Power Automation System Engineering Company led the project. Other contributors include SERDI and State Nuclear Power Engineering Company.



Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 05/28 - 06/01

Progress on Tianwan Unit 6’s Equipment Production and Civil Construction

On May 25th, Tianwan Unit 6’s pressure vessel passed hydraulic testing and is one step closer to final delivery. Designed and procured by Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC), the pressure vessel is manufactured by China First Heavy Industries (CFHI). Representatives from the NNSA, Jiangsu Nuclear Power Company, NPIC, and CFHI witnessed the success of the hydraulic test.

On May 29th, Unit 6 finished pouring concrete for the CI turbine operating floor. It paves the way for subsequent work on equipment installation. The operating floor has a length of 68 meters and a width of 17.8 meters and the primary beam is 4-meter thick. A volume of 1911 m³concrete was poured in 19 hours and 37 minutes. Tianwan Units 5 & 6 are the last two Gen II (M310) units under construction in China.

Karachi Unit 3’s Pressure Vessel Shipped to Pakistan  

On May 22nd, the pressure vessel of Karachi Unit 3, the second HPR1000 export to Pakistan, passed the pre-shipping inspection at China First Heavy Industries Company (CFHI) and was shipped to site. The pressure vessel is a proprietary design of NPIC that was ordered by the newly-established CNNC Supply Chain Management Company, and manufactured by CFHI.

As the only non-replaceable piece of primary equipment within a NPP, the design & manufacture of the RPV represents a significant technological challenge. The self-developed pressure vessel for HPR1000 has many innovative design features, which include improvements for safety and reliability. It has only been 9 months after shipping of the pressure vessel for Karachi Unit 2 in August 2018, indicating a progress of China nuclear industry to manufacture nuclear equipment in scale.


Taishan Unit 1 Reaching First Criticality

The NNSA organized an inspection of Taishan NPP’s preparatory work for Unit 1’s first criticality from May 22nd to 25th. The NNSA concluded that Taishan Unit 1 satisfied the requirements to release hold point for first criticality and proceed with reactor start up.


The Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) Obtained HAF 601 Certificate

NPIC obtained its first HAF 601 manufacturing certificate for small reactor once-through steam generators (OTSG). NPIC now holds a relatively comprehensive certification scope and is well-positioned for the design and manufacture of civil nuclear safety machinery, electrical equipment, as well as the inspection of civil nuclear safety equipment.


NPIC and CNNC’s SUFA Valve Company Sign NPP Pilot Safety Valve Joint R&D Agreement

The Vice Director of the Nuclear Power Institute and Vice President of the Suzhou Valve Company recently formally signed a joint development agreement for the development of new cutting-edge safety valve technology for nuclear power plants. The signing of the agreement marks an important step forward in the cooperation between the two companies.


Taihai Manoir and SNERDI Work Together to Develop Super Austenitic Stainless Steel Pipes and Fittings     

On the evening of May 31st, Taihai Manoir Nuclear Equipment Company announced that the company recently received a contract for a research sub-task of a Key National Project. The contract was awarded by the Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI) for “the localization of super austenitic stainless steel pipes and fittings for sea water intake systems of nuclear power plants.”



Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 05/21 - 05/25

Yangjiang Unit 5 Connected to the Grid  

On May 23rd Yangjiang Unit 5, an ACPR1000 design, was connected to the grid, becoming this year’s first under-construction unit to hit this milestone in China. Yangjiang NPP is the largest nuclear power project in China. According to CGN, Unit 5 is also the first domestic reactor design to employ major features of Gen III technology*, using CGN’s self-developed Hemu (harmony) digital control system (DCS). Yangjiang Unit 5 poured its first concrete in September 2013 and it is now CGN’s 21st operational nuclear power unit.


*Nicobar Note: the ACPR1000 is usually regarded as a Gen II + reactor design, and is the basis for CGN’s HPR1000 Gen III design under construction at Fangchenggang Units 3&4.


Fangchenggang Unit 3’s Containment Dome Attached

On May 23rd, CGN’s HPR1000 demonstration project, Fangchenggang Unit 3, had its containment dome attached 8 days ahead of schedule, which now advances the project to its installation phase. The dome has a diameter of 45 meters and a height of 13.6 meters. It consists of 70 wall panels and weighs more than 220 tons. It is a great challenge to hoist the dome as a whole and attach it, 63 meters above ground, to the containment building. “We employed innovative 3-D modelling technology and made a sand-table model to identify potential challenges and work out respective solutions, so we can make sure the attachment would be a success on the first try” said Guo Zonglin, Vice GM of China Nuclear Power Engineering Company (CNPEC) and Chief Director of the Fangchenggang HPR1000 demonstration project.

Fangchenggang Unit 3 uses CGN’s HPR1000 reactor design, a Gen III technology that China has full proprietary intellectual property of. Almost 90% of its equipment is locally manufactured, and the design will be the representative “going out” nuclear technology to be exported. According to CGN and EDF’s cooperation agreement signed in 2015, the Bradwell B Project in the U.K. will employ the HPR1000 reactor design and use Fangchenggang Unit 3 as a reference model. Currently, the HPR1000 reactor design is in Phase II of the Generic Design Assessment conducted by British nuclear regulatory authorities and is projected to enter Phase III by the end of 2018.      


Nuclear Power Institute of China Developed the First Reactor Core Measurement System for the HPR1000

On May 20th, Deputy Director of Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC), Wu Lin, announced that the Hengxin TM, the self-developed reactor core measurement system for world’s first HPR1000, had its first batch of equipment packed for shipment. It took NPIC ten years to develop a reactor core measurement system with proprietary intellectual property. The equipment will be used at Fuqing Unit 5 to measure its real-time neutron flux rate and coolant temperature at fuel assembly outlet, among other indicators.   


Harbin Electric Power Equipment Company (HEPEC) Becomes Westinghouse’s First and Only Qualified Supplier in China

On May 23rd, an issuance ceremony was held at Harbin Electric Power Equipment Company (Qinhuangdao city) where it received its Certificate of Qualified Supplier from Westinghouse Electric. Mr. Joni Falascino and Mr. Jan Dudiak, Westinghouse Electric’s Senior VP and Chief Procurement Officer, respectively, presented the certificate (serial number WEC-00000001) to HEPEC.


SPIC and China Energy Engineering Corporation Signed Framework Agreement on Strategic Cooperation

On May 22nd, State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) and China Energy Engineering Corporation (CEEC) signed a framework agreement on strategic cooperation. The two corporations will work together in the future on nuclear power, engineering construction and ancillary services, consulting and other services, capital investment, technology and human resources, international projects, information sharing, etc.  


Primary Helium Fan of Huaneng’s HTGR at Shidaowan Passed Pre-Shipment Inspection

On May 17th, the primary helium fan of the world’s first High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor passed the pre-shipment inspection at Jiamusi Electric Machine Company, a subsidiary of Harbin Electric Corporation. The inspection procedure contained many items, including an aerodynamics test, a 100-hour stable state test, an electric motor performance test, etc. All test results satisfy passing standards and the product is ready to be shipped to the Shidaowan site in Shandong Province.


HAF604 Blotter: Q1 2018

HAF604 certification and registration activity from the First Quarter of 2018, retrieved and translated from the Chinese National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA). 


HAF604 Certificate Adjustments: 

AB Sandvik Materials Technology: Changed its legal representative from Petra Einarsson to Göran Björkman
BÖHLER Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG: Changed the name on its certificate from BÖHLER Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG to voestalpine BÖHLER Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG


HAF604 New Certificates

Benning Elektrotechnik und Elektronik GmbH & Co KG: Certified for the design and manufacture of chargers, inverters and uninterruptible power supplies. 
EnerSys S.A.R.L.: Certified for the Design and manufacture of storage batteries, and lead acid battery arrays. 

HAF604 Scope Adjustments: 

voestalpine BOHLER Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG: Added castings for vessels to its certification scope
Salzgitter Mannesmann Stainless Tubes Italia SRL: Added manufacture of heat exchanger tubes to its certification scope
Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC: Added design and manufacture of AC medium voltage switchgear cabinets, AC low voltage switchgear cabinets, DC switchgear cabinets, electrical boards, platforms, screens and boxes

HAF604 Re-Certifications: 

Intercontrole: For performance of Ultrasonic Testing and Eddy Current Testing on the RPV, SG, and pressurizer expansion tubing weld seams
Patriot Forge: Castings for valves and pumps, vessels and supports
SPX Flow US, LLC: For design and manufacture of explosion valves


HAF604 Certificate Adjustments:

New NP SAS: Changed name to FRAMATOME SAS
KSB Aktiengesellschaft: Changed name to KSB SE & Co. KGaA and changed legal representative from Peter Buthmann, Matthias Schmitz, Ralf Kannefass, Stephan Bross to Stephan Timmermann, Matthias Schmitz, Ralf Kannefass, Stephan Bross. 


HAF604 Certificate Adjustments: 

New NP GmbH: Changed name to FRAMATOME GmbH
Fisher Controls International LLC: Changed legal representative from Chad Engle to Tim Parrie


HAF604 New Certificates: 

AEG Power Solutions GmbH: For the design and manufacture of chargers, inverters and uninterruptible power supplies

HAF604 Scope Adjustments: 

Swagelok Company: Added design and manufacture of pipe reducers and pipe instrumentation to its certification scope

HAF604 Re-Certifications: 

Metaltek International, Inc.: For castings for valves, valves bodies, and valve covers
JSC "Central Design Bureau of Machine Building": For design and manufacture of centrifigual pumps, shell-type heat exchangers and equipment supports
Scot Forge Company: For castings for vessels, CRDM, pumps and valves, and pump covers

Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 05/14 - 05/18

Progress on HPR1000 Demonstration Project: All Key Equipment of Fuqing Unit 5’s Primary Coolant System Installed; Other Equipment for Unit 5&6 Shipped

On May 10th, Fuqing Unit 5’s coolant pump was shipped from Harbin Electric. The coolant pump underwent a teardown inspection and was packed up after successfully completing the full-flow test on March 26th, 2018. Six days later, on May 16th, Fuqing Unit 5’s pressurizer, the last piece of its primary equipment in the nuclear island, was also successfully installed following the steam generator and pressure vessel. Meanwhile, 4 high-pressure heaters for both Unit 5 & 6 were also shipped from Harbin Electric.


Primary Piping Welding Started for Hongyanhe Unit 5

On May 11th, Hongyanhe Unit 5’s first seam weld hold-point on primary piping, referred to as 1C4, was released by the NNSA. Welding of the piping began at 3:46 pm. Representatives from CNPEC, Liaoning Nuclear Power Company, and China Nuclear Industry 23 Construction Company were present to witness the milestone, which signifies that Hongyanhe Unit 5 has entered the phase of primary system installation.


Haiyang Unit 2 Finished the Non-Nuclear Start-up Test of the CI Steam Turbine

On May 10th, Haiyang Unit 2’s CI steam turbine was sped up to 1500 rpm during pre-fuel load commissioning testing. All device readings are reported to have passed the qualification threshold. The steam turbine was manufactured by Shandong Electric Power Construction First Engineering Company (SEPCO1).


China Nuclear Power Now Included into the MSCI Emerging Markets Index

Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) just announced the half-year index adjustments on how Chinese A shares will be calculated. China National Nuclear Power Company (CNNP), subsidiary of the CNNC and its public branch listed in Shanghai Stock Exchange, and China Nuclear Engineering Group Corporation (CNEC) will be both included among other 234 Chinese A-share stocks. It is the first time that Chinese nuclear firms are included in MSCI’s Emerging Markets Index. The adjustment will go into effect on May 31st, 2018.


Nuclear Grade Zirconium and Hafnium Sponge Successfully Localized

The CNNC 272 Uranium Industry LLC has recently manufactured nuclear grade zirconium and hafnium sponge successfully, reaching another milestone for localization of nuclear fuel element containment vessel production. Zirconium and Hafnium have similar physical and chemical properties and it is very difficult to separate them from each other. However, their purified alloys are both necessities for nuclear fuel component production. Only a few countries in the world, like France, possesses the technology. China currently relies heavily on the import of these elements for use in fuel production.


Vice GM of Lufeng Nuclear Power Company Visited SEC-KSB for Wet-Wound Pump Development Progress

On May 11th, Bian Shuming, Vice General Manager of Lufeng Nuclear Power Company, accompanied by procurement center staff of the State Nuclear Power Engineering Company (SNPEC), visited Shanghai Electric-KSB. Bian introduced the current status of the Lufeng NPP project and learned about the progress of SEC-KSB’s wet-wound RCP development project. Both parties discussed the details of the testing of the CAP1400 prototype pump and the status of the design of the CAP1000 RCP.


Equipment Passed Pre-shipping Evaluation, Shipped to Tianwan NPP

Tianwan Unit 5’s fuel transfer device and Unit 6’s refueling machine electric control system passed pre-shipping evaluation and were shipped to site. The equipment is produced by CNNC’s China Nuclear Control System Engineering Company. An expert panel consisting of engineers from Xi’an Nuclear Equipment Company (XNE), Jiangsu Nuclear Power Company (JNPC), and China Nuclear Power Engineering Company (CNPE) examined all relevant inspection points and decided that the equipment was qualified for shipping.  

Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 05/07 - 05/11

China (Shanghai) Experimental Free Trade Integrated Development Platform Established

On the afternoon of May 9th, China’s first integrated central-local development platform – the China (Shanghai) Experimental Free Trade Zone’s integrated central-local development platform establishing ceremony was held at Shanghai Expo Central SOE headquarters base. The platform is jointly prepared by Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization and Pudong New Area Government and the future CNNC Shanghai headquarters will also locate in this area.


Taihai Manoir Nuclear Equipment Co. Ltd Reached Deal with Taihai Group to Purchase 100% of the Shares of Manoir Industries

Taihai Manoir Nuclear Equipment Co. Ltd announced on the evening of May 6th that it has signed a framework agreement with Yantai Taihai Group to purchase 100% of the shares of Manoir Industries. Taihai Manoir was formed in 2013 when Yantai Taihai Group acquired the nuclear, petrochemical and specialty business units of Manoir Industries. Both parties will make the final share trade plan upon further detailed communication on due diligence, auditing, evaluation, and discussion with regulating authorities.


“HPR1000 Reactor By-pass System Configuration Study” Evaluation Conference Held in Xi’an  

On April 27th, the evaluation conference of the “HPR1000 Reactor By-pass System Configuration Study” was held in Xi’an. The project was conducted by China Energy Engineering Corporation’s China Power Engineering Consulting Group (CPECC). Experts and representatives from the CPECC headquarter as well as the Electric Power Planning & Engineering Institute (EPPEI), EPECC’s six major subsidiary institutes and other organizations attended the conference. The study project analyzed the function of the bypass system and designed a configuration plan for it, including the allocation and layout of bypass valves and a design plan for the desuperheating water system, etc. The expert panel decided that the study project met its proposed requirements and is of direct significance to the subsequent work on the HPR1000 reactor type’s by-pass system. The project passed the evaluations.


Design and Testing Plan of the Test Platform for Equipment Usability in CAP1400 Severe Accident Hydrogen Explosion Environment Passed Examination

The design and testing plan of the test platform for equipment usability in CAP1400 severe accident hydrogen explosion environment, a CAP1400 Key National Project’s subsector project, recently passed its expert examination. Zhongchuan Heavy Industry’s No. 718 Institute developed the plan, which passed the evaluation. The evaluating panel consists of experts from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment’s Nuclear and Radiation Safety Center, the State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), the State Nuclear Power Technology Company (SNPTC), Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Xi’an Jiaotong University, and SNERDI. 


Tianwan Unit 4 Finished Hot Testing, Preparing for Fuel-loading

At 23:15, May 7th, Tianwan Unit 4’s primary coolant system cycled down to 70 degrees Celsius, coming down from hot testing. It signifies that Tianwan Unit 4’s 42-day hot testing was successfully completed and is now in the phase of pre-fuel loading preparation. Tianwan Unit 4 is a VVER-1000 design that began pouring concrete in September 2013. Its sister unit at Tianwan 3 was connected to the grid in March, 2018.


Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 04/30 - 05/04

Tianwan Unit 6’s Containment Dome Attached 26 Days Ahead of Schedule

On the afternoon of May 5th, Tianwan Unit 6’s containment dome was attached to the reactor building, 26 days ahead of schedule. It has taken field workers just 20 months since FCD. Next, key equipment inside the nuclear island will be installed. The reactor model at Tianwan 6 is a Gen II plus Chinese-designed CPR1000.


China Energy Research Society’s Nuclear Specialized Committee Formed in Suzhou

On May 4th, an establishment conference for the newly formed Nuclear Specialized Committee of the China Energy Research Society (CERS) was held in Suzhou, which was also the opening ceremony of the Future of Nuclear Power Development forum. Suzhou Nuclear Power Research Institute’s (SNPI) secretariat will be the primary supporting organization of the committee, which is aimed at becoming the most influential academic organization in China nuclear policy and technology research.


Karachi Unit 2’s Reactor Internals Shipped from Shanghai

On May 2nd, the reactor internals for Karachi Unit 2 (K2), China’s first HPR1000 export to Pakistan, were shipped from Shanghai Electric’s No.1 Machine Tools Plant. It was the second batch of HPR1000 reactor internals delivered from Shanghai Electric since April 10th, when those of Fuqing Unit 5 were shipped.


Steam Generator of Hongyanhe Unit 5 Successfully Installed

Hongyanhe Unit 5’s steam generator was shipped to site on April 23rd and was successfully installed last week. The steam generator has a length of 21 meters and a diameter of 4.4 meters. It weighs 336 tons. 



Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 04/23 - 04/29

Sanmen Unit 1 Finished Its First Fuel-loading

On April 25th, the long-lasting uncertainty around the AP1000 at Sanmen was brought to an end: the NNSA decided that Sanmen Unit 1 is qualified in all aspects of design, equipment, construction and installation, commissioning, pre-operation preparation and can proceed to fuel-loading. Mr. Liu Hua, Director of the NNSA and Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (formerly the MEP), issued approval for Sanmen Nuclear Power Company to begin loading first fuel for Sanmen Unit 1. At 7:46 p.m., the first fuel bundle was carefully loaded, and on the afternoon of April 29th, the last of the 157 fuel bundles were placed in the reactor core and Sanmen Unit 1’s first fuel-loading was completed successfully.

 The milestone represents one of the key finals steps towards grid connection for the world’s first AP1000 unit, and by extension one of China’s final hurdles to releasing its next wave of pre-approved Gen III projects, opening the path for a period rapid growth in China nuclear.

 *Read Nicobar analysis for more detailed information


Yangjiang Unit 5 Received Approval for Fuel-loading

On April 17th, 2018, Yangjiang Unit 5 received its approval for the first fuel-load from the NNSA. Yangjiang Unit 5 poured its first concrete on September 18th, 2013. Its reactor design is ACPR1000+, CGN’s Gen II plus technology. Yangjiang Units 1-4 started commercial operation on March 25th, 2014; June 5th, 2015; January 1st, 2016; and March 15th, 2017 respectively.

Fangchenggang Unit 5’s All 6 Safety Injection Tanks Shipped to Site  

On April 18th, the last of Fangchenggang Unit 5’s 6 safety injection tanks was shipped from Dongfang Industrial Boiler Group. The safety injection tank is an important part of the Safety Injection System. The tank contains boric acid maintained in reserve during normal operation, with its upper part filled with pressurized nitrogen. When the pressure in the primary coolant system drops below that of the safety injection tanks, boric acid will be automatically released into the system, driven by the pressure differential with the pressurized nitrogen, in order to arrest the nuclear reaction and assist in cooling the reactor core.

Hongyanhe Unit 5’s Steam Generator Shipped to Site

On April 23rd, Hongyanhe Unit 5’s first steam generator was shipped to site from China First Heavy Industries (DFHI) Dalian Nuclear Power Petrochemical Company in Dalian. The steam generator has a height of almost 21 meters and a weight of more than 300 tons. It arrived the NPP the same day. Hongyanhe Unit 5 has two more steam generators which will also be manufactured by DFHI. As most of the nuclear island’s key equipment is now delivered on site, Unit 5 is entering the apex of its installation period.


Progress of Karachi Unit 3: Ring Crane Mounted and Rotor Manufactured

On the morning of April 25th, local time, Karachi Unit 3, China’s HPR1000 export to Pakistan, had its ring crane girder and rail mounted. Meanwhile, its welded rotor, the largest nuclear power welded rotor in the world, has been recently finished processing at Shanghai Electric Lingang Heavy Machinery Company. The rotor will be shipped from Shanghai to Pakistan soon.

Sanmen Unit 1 Fuel-loading a Key Win for SNPTC and WEC, but Future for AP1000 Still Unclear

Two days ago, on April 25th, the long-lasting uncertainty surrounding China’s first AP1000 at the Sanmen NPP site was brought to an end: the NNSA ultimately decided that Sanmen Unit 1 is qualified in all aspects of design, equipment, construction and installation, commissioning, pre-operation preparation and can proceed to fuel-loading. Mr. Liu Hua, Director of the NNSA and Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (former MEP), issued Sanmen Nuclear Power Company an approval for Sanmen Unit 1 to load its first fuel. At 7:46 p.m., the first fuel bundle was carefully loaded in the reactor core, one of the key finals steps to grid connection for the world’s first AP1000 unit. The milestone also indicates that China’s last obstacle to completing its pre-approved Gen III projects has been overcome, potentially opening the path for a period of rapid growth in China nuclear. By Nicobar’s estimates, there are at least 10 reactor units awaiting FCD currently bottle-necked behind the first AP1000, and many more to follow. Still unclear, however, is the durability of the role the AP1000 will be playing in the years to come.

The good news for Sanmen came directly on the heels of the announcement that the EPR at Taishan Unit 1 had received the approval from the NNSA to start fuel-loading and became the first Gen III unit in China to load its fuel back on April 10. Despite being the fastest constructed EPR unit around the world (it gained recognition as the World’s First EPR Unit in January 2018 during French President Macron’s state visit to China), many nuclear industry personnel had begun to associate the China EPR with the same kind of unending construction cycle affecting the Finnish and French deployments. By contrast, the world’s first AP1000 at Sanmen had always been the focus of attention and had generally been regarded by many to have the best chance to become the first operating Gen III unit in China. It was certainly a point of surprise in the industry that the trouble-plagued French design ended up receiving approval for fuel loading before Sanmen.  

Westinghouse and its Chinese partners had claimed that Sanmen Unit 1 has been technologically ready for fuel-loading since late 2017. In spite of those assertions, Sanmen Unit 1 had entered 2018 (its tenth year of construction) without its fuel-load approval (five years behind its original schedule). Initiating this key pre-cursor step to grid connection had been postponed these last six months by a new round of regulator inquiries concerning the reactor coolant pump (RCP). At the end of 2017, some Chinese industry insiders believed that further evaluation, specifically a tear-down examination, was necessary for the uniquely-designed RCP. Other commentators bluntly challenged the the decision-making of the Chinese nuclear regulatory authorities, arguing that a hasty fuel-loading approval would constitute a serious dereliction of duty. These concerns likely affected the NNSA’s decision to assume a cautious posture and prompted the further rounds of safety testing that have apparently finally concluded successfully.

The repeated delay of Sanmen Unit 1 undoubtedly also impacted the development and national strategy of the Chinese nuclear power industry. Policy makers had placed high hopes on the AP1000 and a series of future Gen III units derived from the reactor design had been planned for years. As construction became increasingly bogged down over the last decade, Chinese industry planners shifted their focus to other technology types, especially the self-developed HPR1000/Hualong One. For instance, it was officially announced last month that the merged design of the HPR1000 will be built at CNNC’s Zhangzhou project and CGN’s Taipingling/Huizhou project, replacing the originally planned AP1000s at these sites.  Other AP1000 projects have been cancelled outright with no replacement technology stated yet.

As China is determined to increase the share of nuclear power in its energy mix and has a stated objective of taking the lead in international nuclear power market, the slowdown in recent years will need to be made up somehow. The China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA) released its publication Blue Book of Nuclear Energy – the Report on the development of China’s Nuclear Energy (2018) and the Report on China Gen III Nuclear Power Development Strategic Value Research on April 23rd of this year, emphasizing that nuclear power is currently underdeveloped and China now should have strong advantages in Gen III technology. Additionally, previous estimates and objectives have been revised to account for the slowdown in the deployment schedule According to the reports, as China is finally able to enter the scale deployment phase of its planned Gen III units and a new strategic development plan should be plotted towards 2035. In the very near future, China should witness 6-8 FCDs of Gen III units (this matches Nicobar estimates) and by 2030, nuclear power should reach 10% in the energy mix as opposed to the current 3.94%. By Nicobar estimates, this will require a 6-8 FCD per year deployment schedule over the next few years.

For advocates of Chinese nuclear power development, the current situation presents a logistic challenge to meeting these goals. Even with the fuel load for Sanmen Unit 1 starting now, the earliest that unit can be connected to the grid will be Q3-4 2018, as confirmed by a CNNC spokesperson in March 2018. Furthermore, the HPR1000 demonstration projects in Fuqing and Fangchenggang will not begin commercial operation until 2020 or 2021, at the earliest. Thus, if China sticks to its demonstration plant deployment model, it will only be possible to begin building more AP1000s in 2019, and more HPR1000s in 2021, which will likely make the 6-8 FCD/year target very difficult to meet, with the 2030 target nigh-impossible. This logistical problem has not gone unnoticed within the industry. Last month, during the 15th Nuclear Industry China exhibition in Beijing, Mr. Zhao Chengkun, Deputy Director of the CNEA and former Director of the NNSA, called for more aggressive deployments. Mr. Zhao argued that the merged HPR1000 design is now ready for immediate new FCDs due to its safety features and advantages versus other international Gen III technologies. He pointed out that stimulating the developing of plants would have positive effects for manufacturers whose equipment currently lies idle, and that aggressive nuclear power growth would also serve to prevent ‘brain drain’ in the industry. In essence, his position is that it is unnecessary and disadvantageous to wait for the 2021 grid connection of the demonstration HPR1000 projects in Fuqing & Fangchenggang. Obviously following this line of thinking cannot mean good things for the AP1000.

Whether the good news for Sanmen Unit 1 means the AP1000 design has secured its lifeline for at least a few more years of deployments, or whether the advocates for immediately deploying more HPR1000s will get their way remains to be seen. The Chinese regulator has walked a fine line in the past to balance the needs of an aggressive national development blueprint and a conservative proof-of-concept deployment model. Conservatism clearly won out when it came to approval for Sanmen’s fuel load. If this conservative posture continues going forward, then the AP1000 is likely to enjoy several more years of domestic deployments. If the more aggressive model advocated by Mr. Zhao gains favor, however, the future of the AP1000 for China deployments could still be in serious trouble, in spite of the good news this week from Sanmen.

Nuclear News Weekly Roundup - 04/16 - 04/20

The CAP1400 Control Rod Drive Mechanism (CRDM) Development Program, a Nuclear Power Key National Project, Passed Acceptance Inspection

From April 9th to 10th The NEA Nuclear Power Department held an expert acceptance review of the CAP1400 CRDM development program’s work progress and financial accounting. The CRDM development project is a sub-program of the Large Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor and HTGR Key National Project. Shanghai Electric’s No.1 Machine Tools Plant led the program and Shanghai Power Equipment Research Institute undertook one of the primary subtasks of the program. The conference expert panel verified the CRDM prototype and relevant materials and concluded that the program passed the acceptance inspection.


CNNC Held Seminar with NPPD in Beijing, Completed the Contract on Iran’s Arak Heavy-water Reactor Renovation

On April 11th, a conference titled “Strengthening Sino-Iranian Civil Nuclear Cooperation, Advance Implementation of the JCPOA” was held in Beijing. The Arak heavy-water reactor renovation was a major focus of the event and is a key part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, a.k.a. the Iran nuclear deal). CNNC discussed the modification plan it developed and announced that all the auxiliary consulting services had been provided and completed according to the contract. In April 2017, the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE), China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation (CNEIC), and Nuclear Power Production and Development Company of Iran (NPPD) initialed their first commercial contract to redesign the Arak heavy-water reactor in Beijing,


Taipingling/Huizhou NPP Announced Bid Winners of the Civil Construction Projects of Its Nuclear Islands

China Construction Second Engineering Bureau Company and China Nuclear Industry 24th Construction Company won the bid for Taipingling/Huizhou NPP’s Unit 1&2 NI civil construction projects. Their respective bidding prices were CNY 2.37 billion and CNY 2.58billion.


The Standardization Implementation Program for the HPR1000 National S&T Major Project Initiated

On the afternoon of April 13th, the National Energy Administration (NEA), the Standardization Administration of China (SAC), and the NNSA jointly released the “HPR1000 National S&T Major Project Standardization Implementation Program” in Beijing, with the goal of building a comprehensive system of standards covering the full life-cycle of the HPR1000 reactor design. The plan intends to apply these standards across all the HRP1000 units built in and outside China over the next 4 years.


First Auxiliary Feedwater Pump for Karachi Unit 2, China’s First HPR1000 Export, Completed Pre-shipping Testing

On April 18th, the first auxiliary feedwater pneumatic pump for Karachi Unit 2, China’s first HPR1000 export to Pakistan, completed the pre-shipping testing. The testing was conducted under the oversight of Karachi NPP and Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) representatives. The auxiliary feedwater pneumatic pump was developed by Shanghai Apollo Machinery Company. It is the first 100% self-designed, manufactured, and qualified safety-class pump product in China.


The First Conventional Island (CI) Turbine Low-pressure Rotors for Fuqing Unit 5 Successfully Developed & Shipped to Site

On the morning of April 18th, the “heart” of Fuqing Unit 5’s CI turbine, two low-pressure rotors weighing 280 tons respectively, were shipped from Dongfang Turbine Company’s plant in Deyang city, Sichuan Province. The shipment of the rotors signifies that the development of HPR1000’s first CI turbine’s primary modules is now complete, and Dongfang Turbine Company now possesses full capabilities of independently developing CI turbines for HPR1000s.