China’s Fangchenggang 3 begins commercial operation

29 March 2023

Unit 3 of China's Fangchenggang NPP in the southern Guangxi Autonomous Region has begun commercial operation. China General Nuclear (CGN) said reactor had completed a 168-hour trial test run "officially meeting the conditions for commercial operation".

Fangchenggang 3 achieved first criticality in December 2022 and was connected to the grid in January. The 1,180 MWe pressurised water reactor (PWR) is the first of two Hualong One (HPR1000) demonstration reactors under construction at the site. First concrete for the nuclear island of Fangchenggang 3 was poured in December 2015, and for unit 4 a year later. Unit 3 was originally expected to be launched in 2019 and unit 4 in 2020 but both were subsequently postponed until 2022 due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fangchenggang NPP is 39% owned by Guangxi Investment Group and 61% by CGN. First concrete was poured for the nuclear island of unit 3 of the Fangchenggang plant - 39% owned by Guangxi Investment Group and 61% by CGN.

The Fangchenggang site is planned to house six 1000 MWe reactors. The first phase comprises two CPR-1000 units which were put into commercial operation in 2016. CGN said the plant is expected to have an annual power generation of over 34.5 TWh after both phases of put into operation. Fangchenggang 1&2, domestic CPR-1000s ( were commissioned in 2016. Two additional Hualong One reactors are planned to be built (units 5&6). These were originally expected to be Westinghouse AP1000 units.

The operation of Fangchenggang 3 further verified the safety and maturity of the Hualong One technology, said Mei Jun, Chairman of Guangxi Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Co. It is estimated that after the first and second phases (units 1&2 and 3&4) of the Fangchenggang NPP are completed, the annual power generation will meet 5.87 million people’s annual demand for power while reducing the consumption of standard coal by over 10.4m tonnes, and cutting the carbon dioxide emission by about 28.56m tonnes every year, Mei added.

Image: The Fangchenggang nuclear power plant in southern China (courtesy of CGN)

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