Construction started at San Ao in 2020 (Credit: CGN)The concrete was poured for the nuclear island of unit 1 at the SanAo nuclear power plant in China’s Zhejiang province, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced on 31 December.

SanAo 1 will be the first of six Hualong One pressurised water reactors to be built at the site.

CGN said site surveys at the SanAo site began in 2007 and that the National Energy Administration approved the project in 2015. Last September, the executive meeting of the State Council approved construction of units 1&2 and the National Nuclear Safety Administration issued a construction permit for the units on 30 December. Yuan Jiajun, secretary of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China and director of the Standing Committee of the Provincial People's Congress, orders the start of construction the next day.

According the CGN, this is the first Chinese NPP project to involve private capital, “creating a new model of mixed reform of nuclear power enterprises”. The project is jointly invested, constructed and operated by CGN, Zheneng Electric Power Co, Wenzhou Nuclear Energy Development Co, Cangnan County Haixi Construction Development Co, and Geely Maijie Investment Co (private).

"CGN will use the strength of the entire group to give full play to the advantages of more than 30 years of continuous nuclear power construction and the construction experience of the Hualong One, to carry out the political responsibility for nuclear safety, and to build quality projects in conjunction with the participating units of the SanAo nuclear power project," said CGN Party Secretary, Chairman and General Manager Yang Changli.

The world's first Hualong One reactor at unit 5 of China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNS’s) Fuqing nuclear plant in Fujian Province was connected to the grid in November.

With the start of work on SanAo 1, China now has a further seven Hualong One units under construction. These include Fuqing 6, which is scheduled for start up in 2021. CNNC is also constructing one unit (the first of two) at Taipingling in Guangdong and two at Zhangzhou in Fujian province. CGN is building two at its Fangchenggang site in Guangxi province.

In addition, two Hualong One units are under construction at Karachi in Pakistan, while CGN proposes to use a UK version of the Hualong One at Bradwell in the UK.

Photo: Construction started on SanAo 1 in late 2020 (Credit: CGN)