First Hongyanhe unit connected to the grid

Unit 1 of the Hongyanhe plant in Liaoning province in northeast China has been connected to the electricity grid. The reactor is expected to enter commercial operation later this year.

The 1080 MWe Chinese-designed pressurized water reactor was connected to the grid at 3.09pm on 17 February. It now enters a phase of commissioning tests, after which it will enter commercial operation.


Hongyanhe 1 is the first of four CPR-1000 reactors currently being built at the Hongyanhe Phase I project. Its construction started in August 2007. Cold testing of the nuclear island of the unit was successfully completed in October 2012; it achieved first criticality on 16 January.


Hongyanhe 1 was previously scheduled to begin commercial operation by the end of 2012. All four units at Phase I should now be in operation by the end of 2015.


An adjacent site - Hongyanhe Phase II - will comprise two further CPR-1000 units. A ceremony was held in July 2010 to mark the breaking of ground for these, however was work suspended while China reconsidered its plans following the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant.


The Hongyanhe plant is the first to be built in the northeast of China. It is owned and operated by Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co, a joint venture in which China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co (CGNPC) and China Power Investment Corp (CPI) each hold a 45% stake, with the Dalian Municipal Construction Investment Co holding the remaining 10%.


CGNPC said that, compared with a similar sized thermal plant, Hongyanhe 1 will reduce annual coal consumption by some 10 million tonnes while cutting carbon dioxide emissions by around 24 million tonnes.



Source: World Nuclear News