Hot testing begins at China’s Fangchenggang 4

3 October 2023

China General Nuclear (CGN) announced that hot functional testing has started at unit 4 of the Fangchenggang NPP in Guangxi Autonomous Region. The 1180 MWe Hualong One (HPR1000) reactor is the second of two demonstration Hualong units (3&4) at the site. The units are 39% owned by Guangxi Investment Group and 61% by CGN.

Hot functional tests involve increasing the temperature of the reactor coolant system to verify operation of the coolant circuits and safety systems. These are the final tests before fuel loading. They followed cold functional tests which confirm that components and systems important to safety are properly installed and to verify the leak-tightness of the primary circuit.

CGN announced in early 2022 that the start-up of Fangchenggang 3&4 had been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In December, CGN announced Fangchenggang 3 would begin operation in the first half of 2023. First concrete was poured for unit 3 in 2015, while that for unit 4 in 2016. Unit 3 was originally scheduled to begin operation in 2019 followed by unit 4 in 2020. Start-up of both untis was subsequently postponed until 2022. Unit 3 achieved first criticality in December 2022, was synchronised with the grid in January and began commercial operation in March.

Fangchenggang NPP is to host six 1000 MWe reactors. The first phase comprises two Chinese designed CPR-1000 units which began commercial operation in 2016. CGN said the Fangchenggang demonstration project is of “great significance” for the serial production of Hualong One reactor.

Image: The Fangchenggang 4 nuclear reactor building in China's Guangxi Autonomous Region

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