Chinese EPR connected to grid

2 July 2018

Unit 1 of China’s Taishan nuclear plant in Guangdong province was connected to the on 29 June, becoming the world’s first EPR to achieve grid connection and power generation, China General Nuclear International (CGN) and EDF Group announced. Taishan 1 is expected to enter commercial operation later this year.

Zheng Dongshan, CEO of CGN UK described the grid connection of the new Taishan 1 reactor as "a major step forward in China," but also noted the significance for the UK, where EPR technology will be used at both Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C. 

"The fact that an EPR power station has been linked to the electricity network for the first time reinforces our strong confidence in this reactor technology and in the [Hinkley Point C] project as a whole," he said. 

Framatome chairman and CEO, Bernard Fontana, noted the grid connection of Taishan 1 was the result of 'years of engineering and fruitful cooperation'.  Framatome contributed major parts of the plant including nuclear steam supply system, safety instrumentation & control procurement and support to erection and commissioning.

While Framatome is now focusing on supporting the commercial operation of Taishan 1, Fontana added: "We also remain fully engaged in the completion and startup of Taishan 2, Flamanville 3 and Olkiluoto 3, and in the delivery of Hinkley Point C in the United Kingdom. All current and future EPR projects will also benefit from the broad experience acquired by our teams."

Taishan 1&2, the first two EPR reactors to be built in China, from part of a €8bn ($9.5bn) contract signed by Areva and China General Nuclear (CGN) in November 2007. The project will be operated by Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited, a joint venture established between CGN (51%), EDF (30%) and the provincial Chinese electricity company Yuedian (19%). 

Construction of Taishan 1&2 started in 2009 and 2010, respectively and is running around five years behind schedule. in April, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment granted Taishan 1 permission to load fuel into the reactor. The first criticality was achieved on 6 June, with grid connection on 29 June 2018. 

Photo: Taishan 1 (Credit: CGN)

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