China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said cold hydrostatic testing has been completed at unit 1 of the Zhangzhou NPP in Fujian province. Cold tests ensure that components and systems important to safety are properly installed and ready to operate. They verify the leak-tightness of the primary circuit and components – including pressure vessels, pipelines and valves of the nuclear and conventional islands.

"The successful test of the installation quality of related equipment pipelines means that the unit has fully entered the commissioning stage after completion of installation," CNNC said. "At the same time, it has also laid a solid foundation for the following hot testing, fuel loading and grid-connected power generation of the unit."

Construction licences for Zhangzhou 1&2 were issued by the Ministry of Ecology & Environment to project owner CNNC-Guodian Zhangzhou Energy Company in 2019. The company was established in 2011 by CNNC (51%) and China Guodian Corporation (49%). Construction of unit 1 began in 2019 of unit 2 starting in 2020. The units are scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2024 and 2025.

CNNC said Zhangzhou 1 is the first Hualong One of a serial construction project. The first two CNNC Hualong One demonstration units built at the Fuqing plant (units 5&6) in Fujian province are now in operation. Unit 5 entered began operation in January 2021 and unit 6 in March 2022. CNNC is also building Hualong One reactors at units 3&4 of the Changjiang NPP in Hainan province, which began construction in March and December 2021.

Image: Staff in the control room of Zhangzhou 1 (courtesy of CNNC)