Sanmen (Credit: CNNC Sanmen Nuclear Power Company)Unit 1 at China’s Sanmen nuclear plant in Zhejiang province began commercial operation on 21 September, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced.

The Generation 3+  Westinghouse AP1000 unit, construction of which began in April 2009, had completed a final test run of 168 hours and can   considered to be operating commercially, although CNNC still needs to obtain necessary permits and documentation.

In June, Sanmen 1 became the first AP1000 achieve criticality. Hot testing  was completed in June 2017 and fuel loading began in April. The reactor was connected to the grid on 30 June. It is the first of four AP1000 plants  being built in China – two at Sanmen and two at Haiyang in Shandong province.  

Hot tests at Sanmen 2 were completed in January and both Sanmen 2 and  Haiyang 1 were connected to the grid in August. Fuel loading was also completed in August at Haiyang 2, which is expected to start up in 2019.

Photo: Sanmen nuclear plant in China (Photo: CNNC Sanmen Nuclear Power Company Ltd)