Meanwhile, in the north east of China, at the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant site, Donggang Town, Wafangdian, Liaoning province, 104 km north of Dalian City, construction is underway on nuclear units of a rather more conventional nature.

The plan is that the Hongyanhe station – the first nuclear plant in the north east of China, and part of an initiative to rejuvenate the country’s old industrial base – will eventually consist of six 1110 MWe 3-loop units of what is now called the CPR1000 design. This “improved Chinese PWR” is based on the pressurised water reactors supplied by Framatome of France (now part of Areva) for Daya Bay (2×984 MWe operating since 1994) and Ling Ao (2×990 MWe operating since 2002/3 and 2×1080 MWe under construction, with operation planned for 2010/11).


Artist’s rendition of Hongyanhe

The first phase of Hongyanhe will consist of four units. Site excavation started in June 2006 and, according to developer/owner/operator, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co (CGNPC), “the nuclear island bases for unit 1 and 2 have passed completion acceptance.”

In August, L-3 MAPPS of Canada announced it had received an order from Mitsubishi Electric Corp of Japan (MELCO) to supply a full-scope simulator for the first two Hongyanhe units, with the simulator scheduled to be in operation in 2010. This will be part of a larger I&C package – called the CPR1000 Extension Project Digital Control System – that MELCO is supplying to the project, in co-operation with China Techenergy Co. L-3 MAPPS has previously provided simulators for Daya Bay and Ling Ao.

The operator of the Hongyanhe site is Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co, which is part owned (45%) by CGNPC, along with China Power Investment Corp (45%) and Dalian/Liaoning Municipal Construction Investment Co (10%).

CGNPC says “CPR1000 will be a major option for the construction of nuclear plants over the next phase (around ten years) in China.”

It says work on a further CPR1000 project, involving two 1080 MWe units to be built at Ningde in Fujian province, will start in April 2008. A total of six CPR1000 units is planned for Ningde, where site preparation is already underway. The first two units, a joint venture of CGNPC (51%) and China Datang Corp (49%), are due to enter commercial operation around 2012.

Looking to future projects, CGNPC’s parent company, CGNPG (China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group), says there has been “material progress” in the preparatory work for new nuclear plants at Taishan (Guangdong), Bailong (Guangxi), Wuhu (Anhui) and Lianyungang (Jiangsu). It also reports that “active preparations are ongoing” for other projects in Hunan, Fujian, Hainan, Shandong and Sichuan.

Taishan has very recently been named as a possible site for two Areva-designed 1650 MWe EPRs, although there appear to be no contracts yet.

A total of six units is planned for Taishan, which is identified as a priority project under Guangdong’s 11th Five Year Plan.

CGNPG talks of a second phase of the Lianyungang nuclear station, consisting of four 1000 MWe units. The first phase of Lianyungang, also known as Tianwan, comprises two Russian supplied VVER-1000 units.

After some delays the second unit at Lianyungang/Tianwan entered operation on 16 August, with handover scheduled for mid September. The Russian supplier Atomstroyexport has a contract to build two more units at the site, which could accommodate a total of eight reactors.

With the start up of Tianwan 2 there are now 11 units in operation in China, amounting to a total installed capacity of only 9056 MWe: Qinshan 1 (300 MWe, indigenous PWR), Daya Bay (2×1000 MWe, Framatome (Areva) PWR), Qinshan II phase 1 (2×600 MWe, indigenous PWR), Qinshan III (2×728 MWe Candu), Ling Ao I (2×1000 MWe, Framatome (Areva)/CPR1000), and Tianwan (2×1000 MWe, VVER). Well into the construction phase, with operation scheduled for 2010 and 2011 respectively, are Ling Ao II (2×1000 MWe, Framatome (Areva)/CPR1000) and Qinshan II phase 2 (2×650 MWe, indigenous PWR).

There is a widely quoted Chinese target of having 40 GWe of nuclear installed capacity by 2020.