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First Hualong One Gen III reactor in commercial operation

Unit 5 of China’s Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant, the first project to adopt China’s indigenous Generation III nuclear power technology Hualong One (HPR 1000), has been put into commercial operation, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced. The success marks a milestone for the development of China’s nuclear power, making China the fourth country to master its indigenous Generation III nuclear power technology following the US, France and Russia.

Generation III reactors are evolutionary improvements on the Generation II designs—basically the current fleet of nuclear reactors. Generation IV design are still emerging, and are not expected to be operational before the 2020s.

Hualong One is CNNC’s Generation III pressurized water reactor with complete independent intellectual property rights, developed and designed by the corporation on the basis of more than 30 years of nuclear power research, design, manufacturing, construction and operation experiences.

Yu Jianfeng, chairman of CNNC, said that the corporation will accelerate the progress of mass constructing Hualong One reactors and developing new series technologies in a bid to promote the Hualong One to export and achieve the target of carbon neutrality.

With a design life of 60 years, Hualong One reactor adopts a 177-reactor core design that refueling the fuel every 18 months. It uses a combination of “active and passive” safety systems and a double-shell containment, which meets the latest international nuclear safety requirements.

HPR1000 _cooling_systems_schemata

Active and passive cooling systems of the HPR1000 (Hualong One). Red line − active systems; Green line − passive systems; IRWST − in-containment refuelling water storage tank. Xing et al.


The installed capacity of each Hualong One unit reaches nearly 1200 MWe, and each unit is able to generate nearly 10 billion kWh of electricity annually, meeting the demand of 1 million population within a moderately developed country.

The electricity generated by a Hualong One unit is an equivalent to reducing the consumption of 3.12 million tons of standard coal and emission of 8.16 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, as well as an equivalent to plantation of more than 70 million trees annually.

Units 1-4 of China’s Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant, developed by CNNC, were fully put into commercial operation on 17 Sept 2017. The four units have generated more than 130 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in total. Compared with fossil-fuel energy of the same scale, it is equivalent to reducing standard coal consumption by 40.32 million tons and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 105.44 million tons, which is equivalent to 293,000 hectares of afforestation.

Units 5 and 6 have both adopted China’s independent third-generation nuclear power technology Hualong One, and began construction on 7 May and 22 Dec, 2015, respectively.

Resources

  • Ji Xing, Daiyong Song, Yuxiang Wu (2016) “HPR1000: Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor with Active and Passive Safety,” Engineering, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 79-87 doi: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.01.017 (open access)

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