Helping hand for Fuqing

27 August 2020

The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), is helping two new Hualong One reactors under construction at China’s Fuqing nuclear power plant to achieve a safe and reliable startup

Above: Fuqing 5 is preparing for fuel loading Photo credit: FQNPC/WANO


SIX 1000MW PRESSURISED WATER REACTORS are being constructed and operated by Fujian Fuqing Nuclear Power Company Limited (FQNPC) in southeastern China. China National Nuclear Power Company Limited (CNNP) is the main project stakeholder, with a 51% share.

The first four units at Fuqing are CNP-1000 reactors. This phase of development was completed in 2017, after the fourth reactor began operation.

Fuqing units 5 and 6 are currently under construction using the Chinese-designed Hualong Power Reactor 1000 (HPR1000) design. The HPR1000 incorporates many new advanced technologies, including active and passive safety systems, a double-shell containment and an 18-month refuelling cycle. The reactor has a 60-year design life, and an estimated core damage frequency lower than 1 per million.

Once completed, the six reactors at the Fuqing site will be able to generate more than 50TWh of electricity annually, according to Zhu Hy, senior manager of CNNP. He was speaking in an Inside WANO article, published by the World Association of Nuclear Operators in June.

The Fuqing plant will provide significant value to local business and the population of around 1,360,000 by creating more than 30,000 local jobs, in addition to the 2100 staff employed at the plant, Zhu says. What is more, “Local coal power generation and carbon emissions will be greatly reduced, helping to improve the environment.”

Construction of Fuqing 5 started in 2015. Recent milestones included completion of hot functional testing at the beginning of 2020. “First core loading will take place around mid-2020, and commercial operation will start before the end of this year,” Zhu says. Fuqing 6, which also started construction in 2015, is expected to enter commercial operation in 2021, he adds.

Support from WANO

FQNPC has received “considerable support” from WANO in a range of areas, notes Zhu.

During preparation for commercial operation of HPR1000, Fuqing nuclear power plant carried out a range of WANO activities, such as a member support missions and pre-startup peer reviews. These enabled it to benefit from the experience of international counterparts and provided valuable feedback regarding the HPR1000.

These missions, along with peer reviews, WANO’s new unit assistance programme, professional technology improvement workshops and seminars provided by WANO Tokyo Centre are helping Fuqing to achieve a safe and reliable startup, Zhu says. Recently, a Shift Supervisor Leadership Enhancement activity at Fuqing provided “timely and effective support to improve the leadership of the plant’s shift supervisors,” he adds.

“The most important benefit of a new unit becoming a WANO member is that WANO provides a platform for international peers to communicate with each other,” says Zhu. “Through continuous learning among peers, the operating performance of the entire industry is improved.”

Looking ahead, WANO is expected to continue to provide support preparing for start-up of Fuqing 5&6, and the nuclear power plant’s operation and maintenance personnel’s professional skills to ensure safe operation.

About WANO’s new unit assistance programme

To ensure that new nuclear reactors operate safely and reliably, WANO offers a New Unit Assistance service, which offers focused support to members during the transition from project phase to the operating phase of a company.

New nuclear units and entrants should join WANO as soon as the contracts for main works are signed, to gain the maximum value from their membership.

Focused support helps members build the appropriate operational mind-set through three key phases of the overall project timeline: design, construction and commissioning.

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