Unit four of China’s Hongyanhe NPP in Liaoning province was connected to the grid on 1 April, China State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) said in a statement. Fuel loading at the 1,087MWe Chinese design Generation-II CPR-1000 pressurized water reactor unit was completed on 18 January and first criticality was achieved on 5 March. SNPTC said a series of safety and performance tests will be carried out before starting commercial operation. Construction of Hongyanhe 4 began in August 2009 and commercial operation is expected to begin in the "first half" of this year. Hongyanhe NPP has three commercially operational units and three under construction, all CPR-1000s.

The Hongyanhe plant is owned and operated by Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co, a joint venture between China General Nuclear (CGN) and State Power Investment Corporation, each with a 45% stake, the remaining 10% being held by the Dalian Municipal Construction Investment Co.

The construction of Phase II of the Hongyanhe plant – units 5 and 6 featuring 1080 MWe CGN-designed ACPR1000 reactors – was approved last year and building work started in March and July 2015. The two units are scheduled to begin operating in 2019 and 2020.

The connection of Hongyanhe 4 followed the grid connection on 30 March of unit 4 at CGN’s Ningde NPP in Fujian province, also a 1,087MWe CPR-1. Work on the nuclear island at Ningde 4 began in September 2010 and fuel loading operations started on 31 December. Loading of the 157 fuel assemblies was completed 3 January and first criticality was achieved on 16 March.

Four CPR-1000 units have been built as Phase I of the Ningde plant, near Fuding city. The construction of two Hualong One reactors is planned for Phase II of the plant. The Ningde plant is operated by Fujian Ningde Nuclear Power Company, which is 46% owned by CGN and 44% by China Datang Corporation. The remaining 10% is held by Fujian Provincial Energy Group.