Unit 6 at China’s Hongyanhe in Liaoning province achieved first criticality on 21 April, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced. Hongyanhe 6 is the second of two ACPR-1000 reactors built as Phase II of the plant and is scheduled to begin commercial operation later in 2022. CGN said this “marks the official entry of the unit into the operating state with power” in preparation for the subsequent ramp-up, grid connection and commercial operation.
Hongyanhe Phase II, units 5 and 6, comprises two 1080 MWe CGN-designed ACPR-1000 reactors. Construction of unit 5 began in March 2015 and of unit 6 the following July. Unit 5 began commercial operation in July 2021. Fuel loading at unit 6 was completed on 28 March. Phase I, units 1-4, comprises four CPR-1000 pressurised water reactors. Construction began in August 2009. Units 1 and 2 began commercial operation in June 2013 and May 2014, followed by unit 3 in August 2015 and unit 4 in September 2016.
Hongyanhe NPP is owned and operated by Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Company, a joint venture between CGN and State Power Investment Corporation, each holding a 45% stake, with the Dalian Municipal Construction Investment Co holding the remaining 10%.
CGN launched the ACPR-1000 - three-loop unit with double containment and core-catcher - in November 2011. In 2012, the government orered China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and CGN to 'rationalise' their reactor programmes by merging CNNC's ACP1000 and CGN's ACPR-1000 into a standardised design renamed Hualong One (HPR1000).