SHANGHAI – China’s first nuclear power unit using a third-generation reactor named Hualong-1 began commercial operations on Saturday at the Fuqing power plant, state media reported.
Fuqing’s No. 5 unit in Fujian province is now generating electricity for commercial use after a week’s trial, and will pave “the way for mass production and export,” Xinhua reported.
Core components of the reactor are produced domestically, and Hualong-1 (also known as HPR1000), which has a lifespan of about 60 years, “meets the strictest safety standards in the world,” the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said, according to the report.
“With Hualong One online, China is now at the forefront of third-generation nuclear technology in the world, alongside countries like the United States, France and Russia,” said CNNC President Yu Jianfeng.
The Fuqing No. 5 unit is expected to generate 10 billion kWh of electricity per year, reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by 8.16 million tons.
The construction of this unit began in 2015, a year after this type of reactor was approved by the authorities, and concluded in 2017, while unit No. 6 will be completed this year.
The reactor was connected to the grid on Nov. 27, a month after it suffered an emergency shutdown due to a problem during tests, although there was no leakage of radioactive material.
There are currently six other Hualong-1s under construction overseas, including two in Karachi, Pakistan, one of which started refueling in late November.