Unit 2 of China’s Taishan nuclear plant in Guangdong province began commercial operation on 7 September.
The milestone followed statutory functional testing of continuous operation at full power for 168 hours, which started on 30 August, EDF said. It was achieved nine months after Taishan 1 was commissioned.
The two 1750MWe EPRs at Taishan were constructed by TNPJVC, a joint-venture founded by China General Nuclear (51%), EDF (30%) and the Chinese utility Guangdong Energy Group (19%). The EDF Group and its subsidiary Framatome supplied the EPR technology for the plant.
Taishan 1 began construction in 2009, followed by Taishan 2 in 2010. Taishan 1 achieved first criticality and was connected to the grid in June 2018, beginning commercial operation in December. Taishan 2 achieved criticality in May and was connected to the grid in June.
EDF Chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy said: "The start-up of the world's second EPR at the Taishan site, combined with the excellent operational performances achieved at unit 1, are testament to the quality of the reactor design and confirm the industrial feasibility of projects undergoing development."
"The success of the Taishan project is the result of a long and fruitful cooperation between EDF and CGN and more widely in the French and Chinese nuclear sectors. Safe and competitive, EPR technology is an increasingly important asset to make the global energy mix totally carbon free."
The experience acquired through the commissioning of Taishan 1, in December 2018, made it possible to reduce by three months the period between fuel loading and the plant's entry into commercial operation. EDF said this demonstrates the potential to optimise future EPR construction sites.
Taishan 1 and 2 were the third and fourth EPR units to begin construction, after Olkiluoto 3 in Finland and Flamanville 3 in France, both of which are significantly behind schedule and over-budget.
In July, Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj announced a further delay in the start up of Olkiluoto 3. Fuel is expected to be loaded into the reactor in January 2020, with the start of regular electricity generation scheduled for July 2020. The loading of fuel into the core of the Flamanville EPR in France was expected towards the end of this year, but in June EDF said start-up of the unit will be delayed until the end of 2022 because of necessary repairs to welds in its primary circuit.