Unit 2 of China's Taishan nuclear plant in Guangdong province has been connected to the electricity grid, becoming the second EPR reactor to achieve this milestone a year after Taishan 1.
Taishan 1 was connected to the grid in June 2018 and began commercial operation in December. Unit 2 is expected to enter commercial operation later this year. Framatome said on Twitter on 28 June that the grid connection of Taishan 2 "is recognition of our technological expertise in the commissioning of EPR reactors".
The Taishan plant is owned by the Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited (TNPJVC), a joint venture between EDF (30%) and China General Nuclear (CGN). Unit 1 began construction in 2009, followed by unit 2 in 2010. These are the third and fourth EPR units under construction globally. Finland’s Olkiluoto 3, which began construction in 2005, and unit 3 at France’s Flamanville nuclear plant, which began construction in 2007, are both behind schedule and over budget.
The loading of fuel into the core of Taishan 2 began in May and it achieved criticality later the same month. Fuel is expected to be loaded into Olkiluoto 3 in the coming months, with the start of regular electricity generation now scheduled for 2020. Fuel loading at Flamanville 3 was expected towards the end of this year but earlier this month EDF said start-up of the unit may be delayed until the end of 2022 because of necessary repairs to welds in its primary circuit.