7 September 2020


Second Nuclear Construction Start in 2020 in the World—in China

WNISR, 7 September 2020

Construction has begun of the Zhangzhou-2, a Hualong One or HPR-1000 design reactor with the pouring of basemat concrete on 4 September 2020, according to the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). It is the second unit at the site following the construction start of Zhangzhou-1 on 16 October 2019. It is also the second construction start in the world after Akkuyu-2 in Turkey earlier in the year.

The plant is owned by CNNC-Guodian Zhangzhou Energy Company, owned by CNNC (51 percent) and China Guodian Corporation (49 percent). The Hualong is based on the China General Nuclear Corporation’s (CGN) ACPR-1000 design, a more advanced version of CGN’s Generation II CPR-1000 and CNNC’s ACP-1000 designs. It brings to seven the number of Hualong-design reactors under construction in China. Zhangzhou units 1 and 2 are scheduled to begin commercial operations in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

Phase 1 of the project at Zhangzhou was originally planned to be based on two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors. However, as reported by Reuters, citing a Chinese energy academic, “the problem with AP1000—the delays, the design changes, the supply chain issues and then the trade problems—has forced their hand, and it has become Hualong”.

In February 2017, China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) approved a program of eight new reactors, yet it was only in June 2019 that the NEA authorized construction of the two Hualong units at Zhangzhou. On 2 September 2020, China’s State Council approved the construction of four more Hualongs, Changjiang-3 and -4 as well as two units at CGN’s new San’ao site in Zhejiang province.

With the latest announcement, this brings the total to 51 reactors under construction in the world, including 15 units in China.