Top ten biggest nuclear power plants in China

10 September 2019 (Last Updated June 17th, 2020 15:27)

China is the ninth largest country in terms of nuclear power capacity, with 48 nuclear power plants in operations and another nine under construction. Power-technology lists the top ten nuclear power plants in China, based on the design net capacity according to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Top ten biggest nuclear power plants in China
Yangjiang nuclear power plant is the biggest nuclear power plant in China. Image courtesy of China General Nuclear Power Corporation.

1. Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant, Guangdong Province – 6GW

biggest nuclear power plants in China
The Yangjiang nuclear power plant is the biggest nuclear power plant in China. Image courtesy of China General Nuclear Power Corporation.

The Yangjiang nuclear power plant (NPP) is located in the Yangjiang in China’s western Guangdong province. The power plant is being developed by Yangjiang Nuclear Power Company (YJNPC), which is owned by China General Nuclear Power (CGN, 29%) and its subsidiaries GNIC (30%) and CGN Industry Investment Fund Phase I (7%). Guangdong Yudean Group and CLP Holdings also hold a 17% interest each.

Yangjiang includes six 1GW CPR-1000 pressurised water reactors (PWRs), five of which were commissioned as of November 2018. The sixth unit was ready for commercial operation in July 2019.

2. Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Plant, Liaoning Province – 4.24GW

biggest nuclear power plants in China
The Hongyanhe NPP is being developed in two phases. Image courtesy of China Nuclear Power Engineering.

The Hongyanhe NPP is located in Hongyanhe, Liaoning province, approximately 110km south of Dalian city. It is the first nuclear power plant in mainland China and is being developed in two phases. The first phase commenced operations in 2014 and comprises four CPR-1000 nuclear reactor units with a combined capacity of 4.24GW.

Phase two is an expansion of the existing plant and will add two ACPR1000 nuclear reactors with capacities of 1.21GW and 1GW. Construction of the two units commenced in 2015, with commissioning scheduled for 2021.

It is being developed by Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power, which is owned by CGN (45%), China Power Investment Company (45%), and Dalian Construction Investment Company (10%).

3. Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant, Zhejiang Province – 4.1GW

biggest nuclear power plants in China
Qinshan NPP is the first indigenously developed power plant in China. Image courtesy of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.

The Qinshan NPP is China’s first indigenously developed power plant located 100km from Shanghai, Zhejiang province. It is operated by Qinshan Nuclear Power Company, a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

The plant was developed in three phases with a combined installed capacity of 4.1GW. The first phase of the plant is installed with a CNP-300 PWR unit commissioned in 1991 while the second phase is installed with four CNP-600 PWR units. Phase three of the project features two Canada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) 6 pressurised heavy-water reactor (PHWR) units.

The Qinshan NPP generated a total of 560 billion kilowatt-hours by June 2019 and displaced 5.4t of carbon dioxide emissions.

4. Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant, Jiangsu Province – 4.1GW

biggest nuclear power plants in China
The third phase of the Tianwan NPP will be commissioned in 2021. Image courtesy of Rostec.

The Tianwan NPP is located in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, approximately 250km from Shanghai. It was developed CNNC and has a total installed capacity of 4.1GW.

The power plant was built in three phases with the first phase comprising two units of VVER V-428 PWR units with a capacity of 990MW each. Phase one was commissioned in 2007, followed by the second phase in 2018. Phase two included the installation of two VVER V-428M PWR units with a capacity of 1,060MW each.

Phase three of the Tianwan NPP comprises two CNP-1000 PWR units with a capacity of 1GW each. Construction on phase three commenced in 2015 and commissioning is to be completed by the end of 2021.

5. Ningde Nuclear Power Plant, Fujian Province – 4.07GW

biggest nuclear power plants in China
The Ningde NPP is located in the Fujian province of China. Image courtesy of China General Nuclear Power Corporation.

The Ningde NPP is the first plant to be built in the economic zone on the western coast in Ningde, Fujian province. It is operated by Fujian Ningde Nuclear Power Company, which is owned by CGN (46%), China Datang Corporation (44%), and Fujian Provincial Energy Group (10%).

The power plant is being developed in two phases, with the first phase commissioned in 2016. The phase one comprises four CPR-100 PWR units of 1,018MW capacity each, which were commissioned between 2013 and 2016.

The second phase of the project will add two HPR1000 units featuring indigenously developed Gen-III nuclear power technology.

6. Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant, Fujian Province – 4GW

biggest nuclear power plants in China
The first phase of the Fuqing NPP was commissioned in 2017. Image courtesy of SEC-KSB.

The Fuqing NPP is located in Qianxu, Fuqing, Fujian province. It is jointly owned by China Nuclear Power Company (CNPC, 51%), a subsidiary of CNNC; Huadian Fuxin Energy Company (39%), and Fujian Investment and Development Group (10%) and is operated by CNNC Fujian Fuqing Nuclear Power.

The plant is being developed in two phases with the first phase comprising CNP-1000 PWR units with a capacity of 1GW each. The four units were commissioned between 2014 and 2017.

Phase two of the power plant will include two HPR1000 PWR units with a capacity 1GW each. Construction on units 5 and 6 commenced in May 2015 and December 2015 respectively, with commissioning scheduled respectively for 2019 and 2020.

7. Ling Ao Nuclear Power Plant, Guangdong Province – 3.91GW

biggest nuclear power plants in China
Phase two of the Ling Ao NPP passed final acceptance test in 2014. Image courtesy of China General Nuclear Power Corporation.

The Ling Ao NPP is located in Daya Bay, Guangdong Province, approximately 55km north of Hong Kong. The design of the power plant is based on the Daya Bay NPP located nearby.

The Ling Ao NPP was built in two phases with the first phase comprising two M310 model PWR units with a capacity of 950MW each. The phase one construction was started in May 1997 and commissioned in January 2003.

Phase two of the nuclear power plant includes two CPR-1000 PWR units with a capacity of 1,007MW each, commissioned in September 2010 and August 2011.

8. Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, Guangdon Province – 3.32GW

biggest nuclear power plants in China
Taishan NPP is equipped with two 1,660MW units. Image courtesy of China General Nuclear Power Corporation.

The Taishan NPP is located in Taishan, Guangdong province, approximately 130km from Hong Kong. It is operated by Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company (TNPJVC), a joint venture between CGN (70%) and Électricité de France (EDF, 30%).

The power plant is equipped with two GEN-III European Pressurised Reactor technology-based EPR-1750 units with a capacity of 1,660MW each. Construction of the first unit began in November 2009, followed by that of unit two in April 2010. Unit one was commissioned in December 2018 while unit 2 is expected to commence operations in 2019.

The project is considered as the biggest energy co-operation project undertaken between China and France.

9. Sanmen Nuclear Power Plant, Zhejiang Province – 2.31GW

biggest nuclear power plants in China
The Sanmen NPP includes two Westinghouse GEN-III AP1000 PWR units. Image courtesy of China National Nuclear Corporation.

The Sanmen NPP is located in Sanmen County of the Zhejiang Province. It is owned by CNNC and operated by Sanmen Nuclear Power.

The plant is equipped with two Westinghouse GEN-III AP1000 PWR units with a capacity of 1,157MW each. Construction of the first unit commenced in April 2009 and operations started in September 2018. Unit two construction commenced in December 2009 and commissioning was completed in November 2018.

Sanmen NPP is the world’s first AP1000 nuclear reactor to use fuel assemblies made locally. The second phase of the project is expected to add 2.5GW of capacity to the plant.

10. Haiyang Nuclear Power Plant, Shandong Province – 2.25GW

biggest nuclear power plants in China
The second unit of Haiyang NPP was commissioned in January 2019. Image courtesy of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems.

The Haiyang NPP is located in Haiyang, Shandong province, approximately 130km east of Qingdao. It is operated by Shandong Nuclear Power Company, a subsidiary of State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC).

The plant is equipped with two Westinghouse AP1000 PWR units with a capacity of 1,126MW each. Construction of the first unit started in September 2009 while operations commenced in October 2018. The second unit construction started in June 2010 and operations began in January 2019.

The Haiyang NPP is equipped with steam turbine generator packages supplied by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Harbin Electric. The packages included two steam turbines, two generators heat exchanger, and auxiliary equipment.