China reports nuclear capacity increase

8 August 2019

China’s total nuclear capacity rose 9% in the first six months of the year to 48.7GWe following the completion of two new units in the southeast province of Guangdong in June, the China Nuclear Energy Association said on 30 July.

Nuclear power accounted for 4.75% of China’s total electricity output during the period, up 23% year on year.

Unit 2 at the Taishan NPP, with an Evolutionary Pressurised Reactor (EPR) was connected to the grid in late June, along with Yangjiang 6 (a Chinese designed ACPR-1000), taking the total number of reactors to 47.

On 7 August, Framatome announced that Taishan 2 had started operating at 100% nominal power. The unit is expected to enter commercial opearation later this year.

Although another 12 units are under construction, China is expected to fall short of its target of 58GWe of capacity by the end of 2020 by about 5GWe. The new-build programme has suffered delays and cost overruns at key projects, including the world’s first EPR at Taishan and the Westinghouse-designed AP1000 in Zhejiang province. China’s energy regulators said earlier that construction had begun on three new nuclear power projects in Shandong, Fujian and Guangdong provinces, marking the end of a moratorium on new projects.

Meanwhile, China Nuclear Industry 23 Construction Co Ltd said the placement of the second steam generator at the demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant (HTR-PM) at the Shidaowan site in Shandong province was completed on 27 July. Work began on the two-unit demonstration HTR-PM in December 2012. Each reactor includes a single steam generator, which will transfer heat from helium coolant to a water/steam loop.

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