First concrete has been poured for the containment building basemat of unit 6 at China’s Tianwan NPP in Jiangsu province, marking the official start of construction, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced on 7 September. Construction of Tianwan Phase III (units 5 and 6) was originally scheduled to start in early 2011. However, following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident, China suspended approval of all new nuclear power projects.

The latest Five-Year Plan calls for construction of Tianwan Phase III to be accelerated.

The State Council gave its approval for Tianwan 5 and 6, both with 1,080MWe ACPR1000 reactors – on 16 December 2015. First concrete was poured for unit 5 on 27 December. Unit 5 is expected to enter commercial operation in December 2020 and unit 6 in October 2021. A contract for the civil construction of the nuclear islands for Phase III was signed between CNNC and China Nuclear Industry Huaxing Construction (part of China Nuclear Engineering Corporation) in June.

Tianwan Phase I (units 1 and 2) was constructed under a 1992 cooperation agreement between China and Russia. First concrete was poured in October 1999, and the units – Russian-designed 1,060MWe VVER-1000 pressurized water reactors – and they were commissioned in June 2007 and September 2007 respectively. Tianwan Phase II (units 3 and 4) also comprises VVER-1000 reactors. First concrete for unit 3 was poured in December 2012, and construction of unit 4 began in September 2013. Tianwan NPP is owned and operated by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation, a joint venture between CNNC (50%), China Power Investment Corporation (30%) and Jiangsu Guoxin Group (20%).

Also on 7 September, unit 3 of the Fuqing NPP in Fujian province, was connected to the grid, project developer CNNC said. The unit will undergo a series of tests in the coming weeks with its power level gradually being increased. Fuqing-3 is a domestic Generation-II CPR-1000 unit. It achieved first criticality in July 2016. There are six units at the Fuqing plant, two in commercial operation and four under construction.