Chinese CPR-1000 nuclear reactor generates power for first time

Construction News


Chinese CPR-1000 nuclear reactor generates power for first time

China’s first domestic CPR-1000 nuclear power plant, unit 1 of Ling Ao Phase II, was connected to the grid at 3:38 pm on 15 July 2010, becoming China’s twelfth commercial reactor to generate power.

China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) expects commercial operation of the unit to begin in October 2010, less than five years after the first concrete was poured in December 2005. Ling Ao II, unit 2, under construction at the same site in Guangdong province, is due to begin hot testing and power generation in June 2011.

The CPR-1000 is a Generation II+, 1080 MW pressurized water reactor, based on a French three-loop design. Over 60 design improvements have been made by the Chinese, including modifications to the control room, fuel and the introduction of half-speed turbo-generators, which are supplied by Alstom.

However, Areva retains intellectual property rights for the CPR-1000, which constrains overseas sales. To sell abroad the Chinese would need agreement from Areva on a case-by-case basis, which seems unlikely as the CPR-1000 could be in competition with the joint Areva/Mitsubishi Heaby Industries ATMEA 1 design.

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