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July 23, 2021

EDF to bring Taishan Nuclear Power Plant reactor offline

The radiochemical parameters of the reactor's primary circuit water were found to be below regulatory thresholds.

By Hasini Devarasetti

French energy company EDF has announced that it will shut down a reactor at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in China’s Guangdong province due to damage to its fuel rods.

The power plant is operated by Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture (TNPJVC), a joint venture between China Guangdong Nuclear Power (CGNPC) and EDF.

CGNPC holds a 70% stake in the joint venture, with EDF holding the remaining 30%.

After problems were found in fuel rod seals in nuclear reactor No I, EDF analysed data provided by TNPJVC, mainly regarding the primary circuit water’s chemical composition.

According to the data, the water’s radiochemical parameters are still below the regulatory thresholds being observed at the plant, which are consistent with international practices.

The analysis of the data on the unsealed assembly rods in the reactor indicates that the situation is evolving. Because of this, the operator is monitoring the situation continuously.

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In a statement, EDF said: “On the basis of the analyses carried out, EDF’s operating procedures for the French nuclear fleet would lead EDF, in France, to shut down the reactor in order to accurately assess the situation in progress and stop its development.”

The decision at the Taishan power plant remains with TNPJVC as the plant’s operator.

The power plant comprises two European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) nuclear reactors, each with 1,750MW of capacity. The first reactor was connected to the grid in 2018, while the second one began operations in 2019.

The two reactors are capable of supplying almost 24TWh of carbon-free electricity to the Chinese power grid a year.

In April, EDF submitted a binding techno-commercial offer to build six EPR reactors at a 9.6GW nuclear plant in Maharashtra, India.

The Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant will have the capacity to generate up to 75TWh of electricity a year, enough to power 70 million households in India.

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