Construction begins on phase two of Zhangzhou NPP

27 February 2024

First concrete has been poured for the nuclear island of unit 3 at the Zhangzhou NPP in Fujian province. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said it is the first of two Chinese-designed Hualong One units planned as the second phase of the plant. Two Hualong One reactors are already under construction at the site (1&2) as phase one. China's Ministry of Ecology & Environment issued construction licences for Zhangzhou 1&2 in 2019 to CNNC-Guodian Zhangzhou Energy Company, the owner of the Zhangzhou NPP, which was established in 2011. It is owned by CNNC (51%) and China Guodian Corporation (49%). The licences are valid for 10 years. Units 1&2 are scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2024 and 2025.

In 2014, the local government had approved Zhangzhou phase one, which was then expected to comprise two Westinghouse AP1000 units. The National Nuclear Safety Administration gave its approval in 2015 and confirmed site selection in 2016. Construction had originally been expected to start in 2017. However, CNNC subsequently decided to use the HPR1000 (Hualong One) design instead. Construction of Zhangzhou 1 began in October 2019 followed by unit 2 in September 2020. The units are scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2024 and 2025. Two more Hualong One units are planned for Phase II of the plant and a further two proposed for Phase III.

CNNC issued the environmental impact assessment for Zhangzhou 3&4 in October 2020 and China's State Council approval followed in September 2022.

"At present, the first four units of Hualong One have been completed and put into operation, and the batch construction is progressing smoothly," CNNC said. "Among them, the Zhangzhou Nuclear Power Project is the starting point for the batch construction of Hualong One: unit 1 is expected to be put into operation in 2024; unit 2 is undergoing cold test-related preparations such as the installation of internal components of the reactor."

Hualong One is jointly developed by CNNC and China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), based on the three-loop ACP1000 of CNNC and ACPR1000 of CGN. The design was merged in 2014 as the Hualong One. Both companies retain their own supply chains and slightly different versions of the Hualong One. CNNC version emphasises more passive safety with increased containment volume and two active safety trains, while CGN version has three active safety trains.

CNNC's first two demonstration units are already operating at units 5&6 of the Fuqing NPP in Fujian province. Two more are operating at units 2&3 of the Karachi NPP in Pakistan. In addition to Zhangzhou units 1-3, CNNC is also building two Hualong One reactors at the Changjiang plant (3&4) and recently held a ground-breaking ceremony for Phase I of the Jinqimen plant in Zhejiang province, which will also feature two Hualong One reactors.

Image: First concrete is poured for the nuclear island at China's Zhangzhou 3 (courtesy of CNNC)

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