Cold hydrostatic testing began on 27 April at unit 5 of China’s Fuqing nuclear plant in Fujian province, the first of two demonstration Hualong One (HPR1000) reactors under construction at the site.
The tests are intended to verify the leak-tightness of the primary circuit and components (including pressure vessels, pipelines and valves of both the nuclear and conventional islands), and to clean the main circulation pipes. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said the testing began 50 days ahead of schedule and marked the transition of the unit from installation to the commissioning phase. Inspections of the reactor systems would be carried out at water pressure levels of 2.7MPa, 7.0MPa, 10.0MPa, 15.4MPa, 16.5 MPa, 17.13 MPa and 22.3 MPa.
China's State Council gave final approval for construction of Fuqing 5&6 with domestically-developed Hualong One pressurised water reactors in April 2015. The units were initially expected to use ACP1000 reactors, but plans were revised following a re-organisation of the Chinese nuclear industry.
First concrete was poured for Fuqing 5 in May 2015 and for unit 6 the following December. The dome of unit 5 was installed in May 2017, and the reactor pressure vessel was installed in January 2018. Installation of the third and final main reactor coolant pump at Fuqing 5 was completed in January 2019.
Two more Hualong One units are under construction at China General Nuclear's Fangchenggang NPP in the Guangxi Autonomous Region and are also expected to start up in 2019 and 2020. Two others are under construction at Pakistan's Karachi nuclear plant, and the HPR1000 is also undergoing Generic Design Assessment in the UK, where it has been proposed for construction at the Bradwell site in Essex.