Full operation of CGN Power’s Taishan nuclear power plant, an $8.7 billion effort to construct two EPR reactors in Guangdong province, China, has been pushed back six months, the company said in an announcement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange February 20. Completion of Taishan Unit 1 had been expected in the first half of 2017, but commercial operation has now been pushed to the second half of the year. Unit two was intended to be completed in the second half of 2017, but is now scheduled for completion in the first half of 2018.
“As no nuclear power generating unit with the EPR technology has been put into commercial operation across the world, during the construction of Taishan Nuclear project, Taishan Nuclear will conduct more experimental verifications in respect of its design and equipment, which accordingly requires longer engineering construction time,” the announcement says.
The EPR reactor design, developed by AREVA, has encountered numerous problems at the three sites where it is under construction. Projects in France and Finland have also been riddled with cost overages and delays.
According to the filing, Unit 1 of the Taishan project, which is currently in the commissioning phase, completed and passed the cold functional test last January. The unit completed the containment pressure test in June 2016, and began the early stage of the hot functional test in November.
Unit 2 of the project is currently in the equipment installation phase.
“Accordingly, Taishan Nuclear recently organized a comprehensive evaluation on subsequent engineering construction plan and relevant risks, and after due consideration, it is decided to adjust the construction plan of Taishan project,” the company said.
—Abby L. Harvey is a POWER reporter