China Starts Commercial Operation of 650-MW Nuclear Unit

Qinshan Phase II Unit 3—the first power station built during China’s 11th five-year plan period and the country’s 13th nuclear unit—started commercial operation last week. The unit is the second Chinese reactor to start up this year, following Ling Ao II, which began commercial operation this September.

Reports from China say that some 28 reactors are under construction in the country. The country plans to increase its nuclear capacity from the current 10 GW to at least 70 GW by 2020. A further increase to between 120 GW and 160 GW or more is planned by 2030.

Built by the China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNP), the 650-MW CNP-600 unit is an indigenously designed pressurized water reactor with more than 70% of reactor components sourced locally. Two other CNP-600s have already been built as part of Qinshan Phase II and construction of a fourth unit is under way. Construction of Unit 3 officially began in March 2006. Unit 4 is expected to be completed in 2012.

The actual generating capacity of the two new units will account for 75% of their designed capacity—an improvement over Unit 1 and Unit 2, which is only 65%, noted the People’s Daily Online. (The 2008 average fleet capacity factor in the U.S. was 93.9%.) 

Sources: People’s Daily Online, POWERnews

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