17 December 2012

Reactor Building Starts Again in China

Nuclear power plant construction has started again in China, the first since March 2011 when following Fukushima the State Council halted approvals until a safety review had been carried out. In October 2012 Premier Wen Jiabao announced that China will “steadily return to normal construction” of new nuclear power plants. In November 2012 building works was said to have started at Fuqing unit 4 in Fujian province and Yangjiang unit 4 in Guangdong province - both 1080 MWe CPR-1000 units. In addition, construction has begun at the Shandong Shidaowan HTR-PM project - a demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor. The restart of the Fuging and Yangjiang units appears to be in contradiction with the October announcement, as they are second generation units and at the time it was also said that only Generation III+ reactors would be built. Further contradiction with the policy for construction of only the most modern designs is evident with the signing of a protocol with Russia on 6 December 2012, for the building of two reactors by Rosatom at Tianwan.