Unit 5 of China’s Hongyanhe NPP in Liaoning province was connected to the electricity grid on 25 June, according to the China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA). The unit is scheduled to begin commercial operation later in 2021. This signals the start of the commissioning phase for Hongyanhe 5.
The reactor will now undergo tests at increasing power levels before beginning a full-power demonstration operating assessment, during which, performance indicators will need to meet design standards and the requirements of the power grid. This will indicate that the unit has achieved formal commercial operating conditions.
Hongyanhe 5 and 6 (Phase II of the NPP project) comprises two 1080MWe CGN-designed ACPR-1000 pressurised water reactors, which began construction in March and July 2015. Phase I at Hongyanhe (units 1-4) are CPR-1000 pressurised water reactors. Construction began in 2009. Hongyanhe 1&2 began operation in 2013 and 2014, Hongyanhe 3 in 2015 and Hongyanhe 4 in 2016.
In January 2020, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced that operation of Hongyanhe 5 would be delayed until the second half of 2021, a year later than originally scheduled, and that startup of unit 6 would be put back by six months to the first half of 2022. The decision was taken after plant operator Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Company (LHNP) - a joint venture between CGN (45%), State Power Investment Corporation (45%) and the Dalian Municipal Construction Investment Co (10%) - completed an assessment of the construction-related risks for the units, and "after due consideration", decided to "adjust the construction plan of the project".