20 May 2022


Second Russian Nuclear Reactor Construction Start in China This Year—Anyways 2

Russian nuclear company Rosatom announced the construction start on 19 May 2022 of the Xudabu-4 reactor in China. This is the second official building launch of a Russian nuclear unit in China since the beginning of the war in Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The following day, Rosatom had started construction of the Tianwan-8 reactor in Jiangsu province in eastern China.

Pouring of basemat concrete for the reactor building at the Xudabu-4 unit — Photo Rosatom

Representatives of Rosatom have been dispatched to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine that was attacked on 4 March 2022 and is currently occupied by the Russian army.

As Tianwan-8, Xudapu-4 is based on the Russian VVER-1200/V491 design. It is located in the city of Huludao in the Liaoning Province. The Tianwan-7 and -8 and the Xudapu-3 and -4 units fall under a strategic Russian-Chinese nuclear cooperation agreement signed in June 2018.

China operates already five Russian nuclear reactors and has now four more under construction. That makes Russia the largest nuclear supplier to China. The latest construction start brings the total number to 20 reactors under construction in the country and to 53 in the world. With 18 building sites, Russia implements over one third of all nuclear construction worldwide. However, some of these projects—e.g. the Akkuyu project in Turkey—might be threatened as a consequence of sanctions following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Note: Other spellings of Xudabu can be found such as Xudabao and Xudapu. Xudabu is the spelling used by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).