China General Nuclear Power (CGN) and EDF have announced that the Taishan 1 EPR reactor in China entered commercial operation on 13 December, after completing 168 hours of continuous full-power operation.
Taishan 1 become the world’s first EPR to enter into commercial operation.
Comprising two 1750MWe EPR reactors, Taishan nuclear plant is the biggest cooperation project to have taken place between China and France in the energy sector. The project is being led by TNPJVC, a joint venture founded by CGN (51%), EDF (30%) and a regional Chinese utility called Yuedian (19%).
Construction of Taishan 1 started in November 2009, with peak construction workforce reaching 15,000. Authorisation was granted for fuel loading on 10 April 2018. First criticality was achieved at Taishan 1 on 6 June 2018, followed by grid connection on 29 June 2018.
“Taishan 1’s entry into operation marks the accomplishment of the task set by the Chinese and French heads of state," said He Yu, Chairman of China General Nuclear Power Group.
"As the world’s first EPR project, Taishan offers valuable lessons and solutions for the construction of similar reactors worldwide, and it will play a demonstrative and supportive role in the joint construction of the Hinkley Point C project in the UK by CGN and EDF.”
Hinkley Point C is currently under construction in Somerset, UK, and remains "on track" to start electricity generation in 2025, according to Colin Matthews, non-executive chairman of EDF.
EDF and CGN are also partners in the UK's Sizewell C EPR project, as well as in the Bradwell B project based on Chinese Hualong technology.