Two More AP1000s Connected to the Chinese Grid
WNISR, 26 August 2018
Two more AP1000 reactors have been connected to the grid in China during the past ten days. Haiyang-1, located in Shandong Province, owned by the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) and operated by the Shandong Nuclear Power Company, Ltd (SDNCP) was connected to the grid on 17 August 2018. Sanmen-2, located in Zhejiang Province, was connected to the grid on 24 August 2018, according to plant owner the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). This brings to three the number of AP1000 reactors in operation worldwide following grid connection of Sanmen-1 on 30 June 2018. The fourth AP1000 at Haiyang is scheduled for operation in 2019.
All four AP1000 reactors in eastern China have experienced delays and cost overruns. The Sanmen and Haiyang sites were the very first constructions of this design anywhere in the world.
When construction started at Sanmen, the Shaw Group, the Westinghouse contractor managing the doomed VC Summer project in South Carolina, but also contracted to work on supply of components to Sanmen, expected “bringing this plant on line as scheduled in 2013.” Cost estimates in 2017 indicated that Sanmen and Haiyang were, “over 10 billion Chinese yuan (US$1.5 billion)” over budget. The delays and cost overruns at Sanmen and Haiyang prompted one Chinese energy analyst to warn as early as 2015: “The only way Westinghouse can win contracts in China is to demonstrate they can build reactors quicker and cheaper than anyone else in China’s market and win hearts with actions, not words… Westinghouse so far hasn’t demonstrated such abilities.” Five years later than scheduled, the startup of Sanmen and Haiyang reactors makes the prospect of additional AP1000 reactor contracts in China highly uncertain.