The containment dome for the fifth unit of the Fuqing nuclear power plant was placed in May 2017. Credit: Far East Holding Group.
RVT charging pumps will inject coolant into the primary containment structure in the event of depressurisation. Credit: SEC-KSB.
The Fuqing nuclear power plant is part of China’s nuclear strategy to achieve 72GWe by 2020. Credit: SEC-KSB.

Fuqing nuclear power plant (NPP) is a 6,322MW plant being developed in the Fuqing City of Fujian Province, China. Estimated to cost CNY100bn ($16bn approximately), Fuqing is the biggest nuclear plant being developed on the west side of the Taiwan Straits.

The project includes four 1,000MW CPR-1000 pressurised water reactors (PWRs) and two 1,161MW Hualong One PWRs. Construction of the nuclear power plant began in November 2008, and the first three units started commercial operations in November 2014, October 2015 and October 2016, respectively.

Final approval for the construction of the plant’s fifth and sixth units was granted by China’s State Council in mid-April 2015. The final two units are expected to be completed by 2019 and 2020.

China Nuclear Power Company (CNPC), a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corporation, holds a 51% stake in the Fuqing NPP. Huadian Fuxin Energy Company holds 39% and Fujian Investment and Development Group holds the remaining 10%.

Fuqing NPP is a part of China’s strategy to produce 72GWe of nuclear capacity by 2020 and is one of seven multiple reactor power plants being built in the country.

Fuqing nuclear power plant construction

Unit one of the Fuqing NPP became the 22nd operating nuclear reactor in China. The unit achieved first criticality in July 2014 and was connected to the grid in August 2014.

Construction of the second unit commenced in September 2009 and its first criticality was achieved on 22 July 2015. Following the hot testing of the nuclear island, 157 fuel assemblies were loaded into the reactor’s core of unit two in May 2015.

A ground breaking ceremony for the third and fourth units was conducted in June 2009. Containment pressure tests were conducted at unit three in August 2015, and the fuel assemblies were loaded into the reactor core in April 2016. The unit achieved first criticality in July 2016 and was grid-connected in September 2016.

“Fuqing NPP is a part of China’s strategy to produce 72GWe of nuclear capacity by 2020 and is one of seven multiple reactor power plants being built in the country.”

The 165t reactor dome of the fourth unit was installed on the containment building in June 2014 and fuel loading works began in June 2017. The unit is expected to commence operations by the end of 2017.

Construction of the fifth unit of the Fuqing NPP started in May 2015 and the containment dome was placed in May 2017. With a diameter of 46m and weighing 340t, the dome was installed with the help of a 2,000t crane.

The hemispherical design of the dome helps in protecting the reactor and preventing the release of radioactive materials into the environment in an adverse event.

Concrete for the reactor basemat of the sixth unit was poured in December 2015, and the steel lining module for the containment building was fixed in May 2016.

Fuqing nuclear power plant make-up

The CPR-1000 PWRs design was chosen for the first four units of the Fuqing nuclear plant. The third and fourth units are equipped with Alstom’s turbine-generator package comprising GIGATOP 4 pole turbo-generator, moisture separator reheater (MSR), condenser, low-pressure heater and an ARABELLE™ half-speed steam turbine.

Third-generation gigawatt-level Hualong One PWR design (also known as HPR1000) was chosen for the fifth and sixth units. The HPR1000 reactor was jointly developed by China General Nuclear Power Corporation and China National Nuclear Corporation.

Hualong One reactor features improved safety features along with two-layered protection of the nuclear core. The inner layer is a pre-stressed concrete structure, while the inner surface is covered with a steel liner to prevent any leakages. The outer layer is a reinforced concrete structure designed to protect against external hazards.

Contractors involved with the Chinese nuclear power plant

China National Nuclear Corporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Nuclear Power Institute of China, is supplying the CPR-1000 reactors. The contractual scope also includes the supply of a reactor coolant system as well as the correlative instrument and control system.

Fujian Fuqing Nuclear Power is responsible for construction and commissioning of the plant, and for providing operation and maintenance (O&M) services. China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation is responsible for the plant construction.

China Nuclear Industry 24th Construction was awarded the contract for carrying out the civil works, while China Nuclear Industry 23 Construction won the installation work contract.

Dong Fang Electric sub-contracted Alstom in September 2010 for the supply of equipment and services for a 1,000MW steam turbine-generator package of the third and fourth units of the Fuqing NPP.

Other suppliers for the project include SPX Corporation (ClydeUnion Pumps Medium Head Safety Injection pumps), Siemens and AREVA (instrumentation and control systems), DunAn Environmental (water chilling and air cooling units), and Anhui Cable and ABB (low and medium-voltage switchgear).