China approves four new nuclear units

20 September 2022

China’s State Council has approved the construction of two CAP1000 reactors (units 1&2) at the Liangjiang NPP in Guangdong province and two Hualong One units (3&4) at the Zhangzhou NPP in Fujian province. "In order to increase the potential for energy security and promote green development, the meeting decided to approve the Zhangzhou (Phase II) nuclear power plants in Fujian and Liangjiang (Phase I) in Guangdong, which were included in the plan and have mature conditions for development," state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Two CAP1000 units (Chinese version of AP1000) are planned for the first stage of the Liangjiang NPP, a project of the State Energy Investment Corporation (SPIC) and four more CAP1000 units are planned for the second stage of the project. With a total installed capacity of 8.09GWe, SPIC is one of the top three nuclear power plant designers and operators in China. The Corporation has six operating nuclear power units, four under construction and a number of reserved sites for future projects.

Initially, in May 2014, local authorities approved the construction of the first stage of the Zhangzhou NPP, which was to include two Westinghouse-designed AP1000 units. National Nuclear Security Administration approval followed in December 2015, and in October 2016, the site selection was confirmed. Construction was expected to begin in May 2017. However, subsequently the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) decided to use HPR1000 (Hualong One) reactors instead. Two more Hualong One units are planned for Phase II of the station, and another for Phase III.

Construction of Zhangzhou unit 1 began in October 2019, and unit 2 in September 2020. Commissioning of the units for commercial operation is scheduled for 2024 and 2025. In October 2020, CNNC released an environmental impact assessment for Zhangzhou units 3&4. The project is owned by CNNC-Guodian Zhangzhou Energy Company, which was established by CNNC (51%) and China Guodian Corporation (49%).

In April, the State Council also approved construction of two new units at each of the Sanmen (3&4), Haiyang (3&4) and Lufeng (5&6) NPPs. 

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