Hualong reactors replace AP1000s in Chinese nuclear plans

8 February 2019

Beijing has approved the construction of four new nuclear units using a the domestically designed Hualong One (HPR1000), China’s Jiemian News reported on 29 January citing an exclusive interview with senior leadership of the Hualong One design’s owner, Hualong International Nuclear Power Technology, a collaboration between China General Nuclear Power (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC).

The reactors are to be built at two new sites along China’s coast: CNNC’s Zhangzhou power project in Fujian and CGN’s Huizhou Taipingling project in Guangdong. Both projects had previously been planned and approved by Chinese authorities to host Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor design.  

According to Jiemian News, Hualong International Nuclear Power Technology said that the reactor projects had received provisional permission to begin pouring concrete. First Financial Journal subsequently reported the news on 31 January, and it had confirmed the approvals through “relevant authoritative channels". If true, construction of the new units would end a more than two-year hiatus in new-build approvals in China.

Westinghouse’s AP1000 projects have been faced cost overruns and delays. The first AP1000 began operating in China in September 2018 at the Sanmen nuclear plant, four years behind schedule. Four AP1000 units have been under construction in China – two each at the Sanmen and Haiyang sites. Haiyang 1 began operation in October, Sanmen 2 in November and Haiyang 2 in January.

In the USA, construction of the two AP1000 units at the VC Summer NPP in South Carolina was suspended in August 2017. Two units at the Vogtle 3&4 in Georgia are scheduled to start operating in November 2021 and November 2022, respectively.

CNNC began building the first Hualong One reactor in 2015 at its Fuqing NPP and expects to have it operating later this year. Four Hualong One units are under construction in China. CNNC is building two units at its Fuqing plant in Fujian province, and CGN is building two at its Fangchenggang site in Guangxi province. All four units are expected to enter commercial operation in 2019-2020. Two Hualong one reactors are under construction at Pakistan’s Karachi NPP, with units planned for Argentina and the UK. CGN proposes to use a UK version of its Hualong One design at the planned Bradwell B site.

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