China Nuclear Baotou Nuclear Fuel Components Co, part of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), said on 16 May it had produced a dummy AP1000 fuel assembly using entirely domestically-manufactured components. CNNC said its fuel component manufacturing industry can now supply both domestic and export requirements. Production of fuel for Westinghouse-designed AP-1000 reactors has now been localised. "All indicators meet the requirements of technical conditions, which indicates that the development of domestically produced AP1000 fuel assemblies has completed all process links, laying a foundation for building a complete localised manufacturing system for AP1000 nuclear fuel assemblies," the company said.

In a 2011 $35m deal, Westinghouse agreed to "design, manufacture and install fuel fabrication equipment" for CNNC subsidiary China North Nuclear Fuel, with the aim of supplying subsequent fuel for its Sanmen and Haiyang NPPs as well as any future AP1000s.   

Construction of the 400t/yr AP1000 fuel line began in March 2012 at the Baotou fuel fabrication facility in Inner Mongolia. Qualification of the line was completed in October 2016, and the plant was formally put into production in June 2017 after two sets of dummy fuel assemblies were made to verify the production process. The production line for AP1000 fuel at Baotou produced the first 64 sets of fuel assemblies in January 2018.

CNNC said its fuel company has also developed fuel elements for its domestically designed Hualong One reactor and its high temperature gas-cooled HTR-PM.