The first concrete was poured for unit 3 of the Sanmen nuclear power plant on June 28 in East China's Zhejiang province, marking the start of the plant's second phase project. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said. This signalled the official start of construction of the first of two CAP1000 pressurised water reactors which will comprise Phase II. The ceremony was attended by provincial officials and representatives from CNNC, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the National Energy Administration and the National Nuclear Safety Administration.

China National Nuclear Power, part of CNNC, has built and put into operation 11 nuclear power units at the Qinshan and Sanmen plants. The first phase project of the Sanmen plant, units 1&2, was connected to the grid and put into commercial operation in 2018, and has since generated more than 60TWh. Sanmen Phase I saw operation of the world's first AP1000s.

After the two units of its second phase are fully operational the Sanmen plant is expected to have an installed capacity of 5,000MWe, and to generate 40TWh each year, which is equivalent to reducing 30 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. This will help optimise the industrial structure and energy mix in Zhejiang and is of great significance for the province's shift to green and low-carbon energy as well as its high-quality economic and social development, CNNC said.

In April, China’s State Council had approved the construction of two new reactors each the NPPs in Sanmen (units 3&4), Haiyang (units 3&4) and Lufeng (units 5&6). The Sanmen and Haiyang plants each already host two Westinghouse AP1000 units each, while two CAP1000 units (Chinese AP1000s) were approved for Phase II at each plant.

In May, CNNC signed contracts for the civil construction of the nuclear islands and installation engineering for the Sanmen and Haiyang Phase II developments. China Nuclear Industry 22 Construction Company was contracted to carry out the civil construction of the Sanmen Phase II nuclear island, and China Nuclear Industry 24 Construction Company for construction of the Haiyang Phase II nuclear island. China Nuclear Industry Fifth Construction Company (CNI5) was contracted to install the nuclear islands at all four units.

Image: Pouring of first concrete at unit 3 of the Sanmen NPP in China (photo courtesy of CNNC)