Milestones for Major Nuclear Projects

Several new nuclear plant construction milestones were recorded worldwide in October and November.

CPR-1000. On Nov. 23, China’s 18th large reactor, Hongyanhe 2, was connected to the grid. The $8.2 billion CPR-1000 pressurized water reactor began construction in 2008. Two more units are under construction nearby in northern Liaoning province, about 420 kilometers from Beijing across the Bo Hai Sea.

AP1000. On Nov. 4, safety-related concrete was poured for the basemat of the second AP1000 unit at the V.C. Summer plant in South Carolina. Later that month, Georgia Power poured safety-related concrete for the basemat of the second AP1000 unit at Plant Vogtle. Meanwhile, four AP1000 reactors are being built in China, at Sanmen and Haiyang. Sanmen Unit 1 (Figure 4) is expected to be the world’s first AP1000 to begin operating when it goes online in 2014. The U.S. AP1000 units will come online between 2017 and 2018, while the Chinese reactors will all be operational by 2016.

4. The first of a bevy. Construction at the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp.’s Sanmen Unit 1 in China’s eastern Zhejiang province is nearing completion. When the plant is commercially operational in 2014, it will be the world’s first nuclear power unit to employ Westinghouse’s third-generation AP1000 technology. Courtesy: Sanmen Nuclear Power Co.

AES-2006. The foundation slab of the first of twin Russian reactors at Ostrovets in Belarus was poured in November at a site in the Grodno region close to the Lithuanian border. The 1,200-MW AES-2006 reactors are being built by AtomStroyExport and mark the first major milestone for the project after the turnkey contract was finalized between Belarus and Rosatom in July 2012 for the supply of the two reactors. Construction of each unit could take up to five years.

EPR. On Oct. 24, the AREVA-Siemens consortium that is building the Olkiluoto 3 EPR for Finnish power company Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) installed the reactor vessel head, marking completion of the installation of heavy equipment. The project has been besieged by delays since it began construction in 2005. TVO has warned that the plant may not be operational until 2016.

At Flamanville 3, where AREVA is building France’s first EPR, the reactor vessel was delivered to the construction site. Civil engineering work is now almost complete at the Normandy site. Though originally expected to begin operation in 2013, the reactor’s construction is expected to be completed in 2016. Taishan 1, which is an EPR under construction in China, has been under construction since 2009 and is expected to start up in 2014, while Taishan 2 is scheduled to begin operating in 2015.

Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)