Unit 1 at China’s Sanmen NPP – the world’s first AP1000 nuclear unit, under construction in Zhejiang province – is expected to be online this year, the China Daily reported. There are four AP1000 nuclear units under construction in China – two at Sanmen and two at Haiyang NPP in Shandong province. A twin unit at Haiyang is scheduled for grid connection in February 2017 and may become operational by June 2017, the China Daily said. The second pair of reactor coolant pumps for the Haiyang 1 AP1000 arrived at the construction site on 7 April, according to the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation. The installation of the first two pumps was completed on 23 and 25 March. Haiyang 1 is scheduled to start up by the end of this year, becoming the second operating AP1000 after Sanmen 1.

Meanwhile, the loading of all 157 fuel assemblies into the reactor core of unit 3 at the Fuqing NPP in Fujian province has been completed, China Nuclear Industry 23 International Corporation (CNI23) said in a statement. The National Nuclear Safety Administration issued a licence on 1 April for fuel to be loaded into the reactor and the process was completed on 4 April, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced.

CNNC’s Fuqing plant will eventually house six Chinese-designed PWRs, the first four being 1,087MWe CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors. Unit 1 started up in July 2014, was connected to the grid the following month and entered commercial operation in November. Unit 2 achieved first criticality in July 2015 and entered commercial operation last October.

Ground was broken in June 2009 for Fuqing unit 3 and 4. Containment pressure tests were successfully completed at unit 3 last August. Unit 3 is expected to start up later this year, and unit 4 in 2017. China’s State Council gave final approval for construction of Fuqing 5 and 6 in April 2015. First concrete was poured for unit 5 in May and for unit 6 in December. These two units will be demonstration indigenously-designed Hualong One reactors.