China says contract imminent for two more Russian nuclear units

28 May 2019

Russia’s Atomstroyexport (part of state nuclear corporation  Rosatom) and divisions of Chinese companies China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation (CNEIC) plan to sign a contract for the construction of two units at the Xudabao NPP (Liaoning Province, Northeast China), CNNC said on 22 May. The document of the Chinese corporation, published on the website of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, said the value of the contract will be $ 1.7 billion for construction of units 3 and 4 at the NPP. The work is scheduled for completion by October 2021 and August 2022. The construction period of each unit will be 69 months but work will be suspended in the winter for four months. In June 2018, Rosatom and its Chinese partners signed a framework contract for the serial construction of the two Russian design power units with VVER-1200 reactors at Xudabao. The document also provides for the possibility of building further units in the future. 

The Xudabao project, together with Tianwan nuclear station in Jiangsu province, eastern China, is part of a memorandum of understanding signed in June by CNNC and Rosatom that will involve the construction of four VVER-1200 reactors in China to be commissioned throughout the 2020s. In April 2014, the Xudabao site was approved for the construction of two Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power units with the option of building four more units but these plans appear to have lapsed.  

Rosatom is currently completing construction of unit 4 at the Tianwan NPP.  Units 1 and 2 were launched in 2007 and unit 3 began operations in 2017. Unit 4 was launched at minimum capacity in September last year after the fuel loading was finished ahead of schedule. All four units are Russian-designed VVER-1,000s. Rosatom is also contract to build units 7 and 8 at the plant, which are expected to be VVER-1200 reactors. Units 5 and 6 are Chinese-design 1080 MWe ACPR1000 pressurised water reactors. Commissioning testing of unit 5 began in mid February and will take one year to complete, Shanghai-based energy research group Nicobar said. The third and final steam generator was installed at unit 6 earlier in May. Unit 6 is scheduled to enter commercial operation by the end of 2021. The Tianwan plant 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%).

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