Unit 3 of China’s Tianwan nuclear plant, a Russian-supplied VVER-1000 located in Jiangsu province, achieved first criticality on 28 September and is scheduled to enter commercial operation next year.
Fuel loading began on 18 August and was completed early, according to Russian state nuclear company Rosatom. Following further tests, Tianwan 3 will start producing power, and grid connection tests will be carried out on the turbo-generators. A series of commissioning tests will then be conducted, including a load test run and other relevant tests before the unit enters full-power demonstration operation. Tianwan 3 is expected to be connected to the grid before the end of 2017.
Units 3&4 at the Tianwan plant are AES-91 VVER-1000 units designed by Russia’s Gidropress. General contractor AtomStroyExport supplied the nuclear island. First concrete for Tianwan 3 was poured in December 2012 and for Tianwan 4 in September 2013. Tianwan 1&2, also VVER-1000 reactors supplied by Rosatom, began operating in 2007.
Tianwan NPP is owned and operated by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation, a joint venture between China National Nuclear Corporation (50%), China Power Investment Corporation (30%) and Jiangsu Guoxin Group (20%).
In December 2015, China’s State Council approved the third phase of the Tianwan plant (units 5 and 6) both featuring Chinese-designed 1080MWe ACPR1000 reactors. Concrete was poured for Tianwan 5 later that month and for Tianwan 6 in September 2016.
Earlier this month the containment dome was installed at Tianwan 5, marking the end of the civil construction phase. According to CNNC, Tianwan 5 is expected to enter commercial operation in December 2020, followed by Tianwan 6 in October 2021.
Photo: Tianwan 3 during construction (Credit: Rosatom)