Fuqing 5 entered commercial operation in January 2021 (Photo: CNNC)China’s first Hualong One reactor at unit 5 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in Fujian Province began commercial operation on 30 January, China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) announced.

Hualong One is a third-generation pressurised water reactor developed and designed by CNNC based on more than 30 years of nuclear power research, design, manufacturing, construction and operation experience, the company said.

It has a design life of 60 years and a 177 assembly core design with an 18-month refuelling cycle. The power plant's utilisation rate is as high as 90%. CNNC said its active and passive safety systems, double-layer containment and other technologies meet the highest international safety standards.

First concrete for the Fuqing 5 was poured in May 2015, the unit achieved criticality in October 2020 and was connected to the grid in November. Fuqing 6, also with Hualong One reactor is scheduled to begin operation later this year.

Yu Jianfeng, Secretary of the Party Leadership Group and CNNC Chairman said, "Hualong One is a national business card and a national brand, which embodies the national will and national spirit, and contains the ideal pursuit of the nuclear industry's independence and self-reliance." 

He added that with the first Hualong One online, “China is now at the forefront of third-generation nuclear technology in the world, alongside countries such as the United States, France and Russia”.

The commercial use of Hualong One will also help meet low-carbon development goals, he said.

Photo: Fuqing 5 entered commercial operation in January 2021 (Photo: CNNC)