(Updated 20 July 2010)
Most of mainland China's electricity is produced from fossil fuels (80% from coal, 2% from oil, 1% from gas in 2006) and hydropower (15%). Two large hydro projects are recent additions: Three Gorges of 18.2 GWe and Yellow River of 15.8 GWe. Rapid growth in demand has given rise to power shortages, and the reliance on fossil fuels has led to much air pollution. The economic loss due to pollution is put by the World Bank at almost 6% of GDP.1 In 2009 power shortages were most acute in central provinces, particularly Hubei, and in December the Central China Grid Co. posted a peak load of 94.6 GW.
Domestic electricity production in 2009 was 3643 billion kWh, 6.0% higher than the 3,450 billion kWh in 2008, which was 5.8% more than in 2007 (3,260 billion kWh) and it is expected to rise to 3,810 billion kWh in 2010. Installed capacity had grown by the end of 2009 to 874 GWe, up 10.2% on the previous year's 793 GWe, which was 11% above the previous year's 713 GWe.2 Capacity growth is expected to slow, reaching about 1600 GWe in 2020. At the end of 2007, there was reported to be 145 GWe of hydro capacity, 554 GWe fossil fuel, 9 GWe nuclear and 4 GWe wind, total 713 GWe. In 2008, the country added 20.1 GWe of hydro capacity, 65.8 GWe coal-fired capacity, and 4.7 GWe wind.
These capacity increase figures are all the more remarkable considering the forced retirement of small inefficient coal-fired plants: 26 GWe of these was closed in 2009, making 60 GWe closed since 2006, cutting annual coal consumption by 69 million tonnes and annual carbon dioxide emissions by 139 Mt.
The State Grid Corporation of China's grid system is sophisticated and rapidly growing, utilising ultra high voltage (1000 kV AC and 800 kV DC). By 2020, the capacity of the UHV network is expected to be some 300 GW, of which hydropower will account for 78 GW, and wind power from the north a further significant portion. Wind capacity by 2020 is planned to be 100 GWe. At the end of 2009, China had budgeted to spend $600 billion upgrading its grid.
Among the main listed generators, Huaneng Power produced 203.5 billion kWh from its domestic plants in 2009, 10.2% up on 2008. Datang Power produced 141.9 billion kWh, 12% up on 2008. Huadian Power produced 107.5 billion kWh, 6.75% above 2008. CPI Development produced 43.9 billion kWh, 2.0% above 2008 level.
While coal is the main energy source, most reserves are in the north or northwest and present an enormous logistic problem – nearly half the country's rail capacity is used in transporting coal. Because of the heavy reliance on old coal-fired plant, electricity generation accounts for much of the country's air pollution, which is a strong reason to increase nuclear share. China recently overtook the USA as the world's largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions. The US Energy Information Administration predicts that China's share in global coal-related emissions will grow by 2.7% per year, from 4.9 billion tonnes in 2006 to 9.3 billion tonnes in 2030, some 52% of the projected world total. Total carbon dioxide emissions in China are projected to grow by 2.8% per year from 6.2 billion tonnes in 2006 to 11.7 billion tonnes in 2030 (or 28% of world total). In comparison, total US carbon dioxide emissions are projected to grow by 0.3% per year, from 5.9 billion tonnes in 2006 to 7.7 billion tonnes in 2030.3
Nuclear power has an important role, especially in the coastal areas remote from the coalfields and where the economy is developing rapidly. Generally, nuclear plants can be built close to centres of demand, whereas suitable wind and hydro sites are remote from demand. Moves to build nuclear power commenced in 1970 and the industry has now moved to a rapid development phase. Technology has been drawn from France, Canada and Russia, with local development based largely on the French element. The latest technology acquisition has been from the USA (via Westinghouse, owned by Japan's Toshiba) and France. The Westinghouse AP1000 is the main basis of technology development in the immediate future.
The government had planned to increase nuclear generating capacity to 40 GWe by 2020 (out of a total 1000 GWe then planned), with a further 18 GWe nuclear being under construction then. In March 2008, the newly-formed State Energy Bureau (SEB) said that the target for 2020 should be at least 5% of electricity from nuclear power, requiring at least 50 GWe to be in operation by then. In June 2008, the China Electrical Council projected 60 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2020. In July 2009, the State Council was reported to be considering raising the 2020 target to 86 GWe installed and 18 GWe under construction. For 2030, in May 2007 the National Development and Reform Commission announced that its target for nuclear generation capacity in 2030 was 160 GWe. In April 2010, the China Nuclear Energy Association projected 200 GWe nuclear by 2030. As of June 2010, official installed nuclear capacity targets are understood to be 80 GWe by 2020, 200 GWe by 2030 and 400 GWe by 2050.
Nuclear power reactors in mainland China
China has set the following points as key elements of its nuclear energy policy:
The technology base for future reactors remains officially undefined, though two designs are currently predominant in construction plans: CPR-1000 and AP1000. Beyond them, high-temperature gas-cooled reactors and fast reactors appear to be the main priorities.
A major struggle between the established China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) pushing for indigenous technology and the small but well-connected State Nuclear Power Technology Corp (SNPTC) favouring imported technology was won by SNPTC about 2004. In particular, SNPTC proposes use of indigenized 1000+ MWe plants with advanced third-generation technology, arising from Westinghouse AP1000 designs at Sanmen and Haiyang (see section below on Embarking upon Generation III plants). Westinghouse has agreed to transfer technology to SNPTC over the first four AP1000 units so that SNPTC can build the following ones on its own.
In February 2006, the State Council announced that the large advanced PWR was one of two high priority projects for the next 15 years, depending on "Sino-foreign cooperation, in order to master international advanced technology on nuclear power and develop a Chinese third-generation large PWR".4 In September 2006, the head of the China Atomic Energy Authority said that he expected large numbers of third-generation PWR reactors derived from foreign technology to be built from about 2016, after experience is gained with the initial AP1000 units.
The first four Westinghouse AP1000 reactors are being built at Sanmen and Haiyang. At least eight more at four sites are firmly planned after them, involving substantial technology transfer, and about 30 more are proposed to follow. The AP1000 is to be the main basis of China's move to Generation III technology. These are built from modules fabricated adjacent to each site. The timeline is 50 months from first concrete to fuel loading, then six months to grid connection (see section below on Embarking upon Generation III plants).
Two Areva EPR reactors are being built at Taishan, but no more appear to be proposed. (see section below on Embarking upon Generation III plants).
Nevertheless, in October 2008, Areva and CGNPC announced establishment of an engineering joint venture as a technology transfer vehicle for development EPR and other PWR plants in China and later abroad. The JV will be held 55% by CGNPC and other Chinese interests, and 45% by Areva. It will engineer and procure equipment for both the EPR and the CPR-1000.
Westinghouse announced in 2008 that it was working with SNPTC and Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute (SNERDI) to develop jointly a passively safe larger design from the AP1000, probably of 1400 MWe capacity for large-scale deployment. This development with SNERDI opens the possibility of China itself exporting the new larger units with Westinghouse's cooperation. Then, in October 2009, SNPTC and CNNC signed an agreement to co-develop and refine the AP1000 design.
In December 2009, the State Nuclear Demonstration Company – a 55-45% joint venture company by SNPTC and China Huaneng Group – was set up to build and operate an initial unit of the larger design, the CAP1400, at or near Huaneng's Shidaowan site. Construction is expected to start in 2013 and SNPTC hopes to have it operating in December 2017. It may be followed by a CAP1700 design, and China will own the intellectual property rights for these two larger designs. The State Nuclear Power Engineering Company (SNPEC) is doing the engineering under a team from the SNERDI, the Shandong Electric Power Engineering Consulting Institute (SEPECI), and the State Nuclear Power Equipment Manufacturing Company (SNPEMC) which will make the components.
CNP-1000 (also CNP-600, CNP-300)
CNNC had been working with Westinghouse and Framatome (now Areva) at SNERDI since the early 1990s to develop a Chinese standard three-loop PWR design, the CNP-1000 based on Qinshan CNP-600 units, with high (60 GWd/t) burn-up, 18-month refueling cycle and 20 more fuel assemblies than the French-origin units. In 1997, the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) at Chengdu became involved in the reactor design and, early in 2007, SNERDI was reassigned to concentrate on the AP1000 program. CNNC has been keen to create its own brand of advanced second-generation reactor with intellectual property rights, and wanted to build two initial CNP-1000 plants at Fangjiashan, adjacent to Qinshan near Shanghai, under the 11th Economic Plan, though the design probably would not have been ready. In early 2007, the CNP-1000 development was put on hold indefinitely, though this aborted export plans for two CNP-1000 units to Pakistan.
Further CNP-600 units are being built at Qinshan and Changjiang, Hainan. CNNC says they are free of French intellectual property rights.
The China Zhongyuan Engineering Corporation is involved with constructing a 300 MWe PWR unit (CNP-300) at Chasma in Pakistan – a twin to that already commissioned in 2000 and similar to Qinshan 1 – China's first indigenously-designed (by SNERDI) nuclear power plant. Qinshan phase 2 is CNP-600, a scaled-up two-loop version of the same.
CNNC is seeking to sell the CNP-300 to Belarus and in Africa.
China Guangdong Nuclear Power's (CGNPC's) indigenous focus has been on the French-derived three-loop units such as at Lingao, without major modification, now called CPR-1000, or 'improved Chinese PWR', and designated Generation II+, with digital instrumentation and control, and 60-year design life. It has 157 fuel assemblies. However, Areva retains intellectual property rights for this, which constrains overseas sales since the Chinese would need agreement from Areva on a case by case basis, and this would be unlikely in competition with the Atmea 1 design. The CPR-1000 is being widely and quickly deployed for domestic use under CGNPC leadership. Standard construction time is 52 weeks and the unit cost is under CNY 10,000 (US$ 1500) per kilowatt. In June 2009, the first Chinese-made reactor pressure vessel for a 1000 MWe reactor was delivered for Ling Ao Phase II, from Dongfang (Guangzhou) Heavy Machinery Co. It is rated 1080 MWe gross, and the Lingao II units are 1037 MWe net.
Russia's Atomstroyexport is general contractor and equipment provider for the Tianwan AES-91 power plants using the V-428 version of the well-proven VVER-1000 reactor of 1060 MWe capacity. The reactors incorporate Finnish safety features and Siemens-Areva instrumentation and control systems. Russia's Energoatom is responsible for maintenance from 2009. Tianwan units 3 & 4 will use the same version of the VVER-1000 reactor, and then units 5 & 6 will probably use the VVER-1200.
Protracted discussion on pricing delayed units 3 & 4. Eventually €1.3 billion was agreed for Atomstroyexport to provide 30% of the plant including nuclear island equipment (reactor, steam generator, pressurisers, primary piping etc.) and some related equipment. Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation is responsible for about 70% of the project, namely, the civil work, turbine island with equipment and related infrastructure on the site.
In September 2005, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) signed a technology development agreement with CNNC which opened the possibility of it supplying further Candu-6 reactors. AECL built the two-unit Qinshan Phase III plant on schedule and under budget and estimates that it could be replicated for 25% lower cost. Any replication would be on the basis of involving local engineering teams, not on a turnkey basis, but the technology is now well understood and the decades-old Candu-6 design would likely pose fewer problems for technology transfer than state of the art third-generation designs from Westinghouse and Areva NP. (The later Korean Candu-6 plants at Wolsong had 75% local content.) However, the agreement with CNNC – more specifically with SNERDI – looked further forward to collaboration on AECL's new ACR design later. SNERDI is now focused on AP1000 engineering and reassigned to SNPTC, so early in 2008 work on Candu fuel technologies passed to another CNNC entity: the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC).
Having left the Chinese reactor market to others, in the light of China's preference for PWR designs, GE has been commending its new boiling water reactor designs for future orders there.
In February 2006, the State Council announced that the small high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR) was the second of two high priority projects for the next 15 years. The small HTR-PM units with pebble bed fuel were to be 200 MWe reactors, similar to that being developed in South Africa, but plans have evolved to make them twin 105 MWe units driving a single steam turbine. China Huaneng Group is the lead organization in the consortium to build the demonstration Shidaowan HTR-PM with China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Group (CNEC) and Tsinghua University's INET, which is the R&D leader. Chinergy Co. is the main contractor for the nuclear island. The initial HTR-PM will pave the way for 18 (3x6) further 210 MWe units at the same site – total 3800 MWe (see Shidaowan project below, and Research and development section in page on China's Nuclear Fuel Cycle).
Fast neutron reactor
Longer-term, fast neutron reactors (FNR) are seen as the main technology, and CNNC expects the FNR to become predominant by mid century. A 65 MWt fast neutron reactor – CEFR – is under construction near Beijing and due to achieve criticality in 2009. Further developments of this were expected to follow (see Research and development section in page on China's Nuclear Fuel Cycle).
However, in October 2009, a high-level agreement with Russia confirmed earlier indications that China would opt for the BN-800 technology instead of indigenous development. The 880 MWe gross BN-800 reactor being built by OKBM Afrikantov at Beloyarsk in Siberia is the reference design, and the first two in China are planned to start construction in 2013 at Sanming, Fujian province, with the first to be in operation in 2019.
Embarking upon Generation III plants
In September 2004, the State Council approved plans for two units at Sanmen, followed by six units at Yangjiang (two to start with), these to be 1000 or 1500 MWe reactors pioneering Generation III nuclear technology from overseas. The Sanmen (in Zhejiang province) and Yangjiang (in Guangdong province) reactors were subject to an open bidding process for third-generation designs, with contracts to be awarded in mid-2006 – in the event, mid-2007 – putting them clearly into the 11th Five Year Plan.
This open bidding process underlined the extent to which China is making itself part of the world nuclear industry, and yet at first remaining somewhat ambivalent about that.
Three bids were received for the four Sanmen and Yangjiang reactors: from Westinghouse (AP1000 reactors), Areva (EPR) and Atomstroyexport (VVER-1000 model V-392). The State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC), directly under China's State Council, was in charge of technology selection for new plants being bid from overseas.
The USA, French and Russian governments were reported to be giving firm support as finance and support arrangements were put in place. The US Export-Import bank approved $5 billion in loan guarantees for the Westinghouse bid, and the French Coface company was expected similarly to finance Areva for its bid. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave approval for Westinghouse to export equipment and engineering services as well as the initial fuel load and one replacement for the four units. Bids for both two-unit plants were received in Beijing on behalf of the two customers: China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co (CGNPC) for Yangjiang, and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) for Sanmen. Bids were for the nuclear portion of each plant only, the turbine tenders to be called for subsequently.
Bids were assessed on level of technology, the degree to which it was proven, price, local content, and technology transfer - which apparently became the major factor. Areva and Westinghouse were short-listed. However, the decision on reactor type was delayed, and came under review at the highest political level, with CNNC evidently pushing for the use of indigenous second-generation designs for both sites.
In December 2006, 22 months after the bids were submitted and after several revisions to them, the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design was selected for the four units – two each at Sanmen and Yangjiang. Early in 2007, the two units planned for the Yangjiang site were switched to Haiyang in the more northerly Shandong province, making way for two EPR units Areva was in negotiations to build at Yangjiang. Later in 2007, plans for the EPRs under consideration for Yangjiang were transferred to another Guangdong site – Taishan – since there was pressure to build a lot of capacity quickly at Yangjiang.
Sanmen 1&2 and Haiyang 1&2
A framework agreement was signed at the end of February 2007 between Westinghouse and SNPTC specifying Haiyang and Sanmen for the four AP1000 units. In July 2007, Westinghouse, along with consortium partner Shaw, signed the contracts with SNPTC, Sanmen Nuclear Power Company (51% owned by CNNC), Shangdong Nuclear Power Company (61% owned by CPI) and China National Technical Import & Export Corporation (CNTIC) for four AP1000 reactors. Specific terms were not disclosed but the figure of $5.3 billion for the first two was widely quoted.
Sanmen site works commenced in February 2008 and full construction on Sanmen 1 – the world's first AP1000 unit – officially commenced on 19 April 2009. The reactor is expected to begin operation in August 2013 with the second about one year later. First concrete at Haiyang 1 was in September 2009. The Haiyang units are expected to commence operation in 2014 and 2015.
AP1000 equipment contracts
In April 2007, Westinghouse signed a $350 million contract with Doosan Heavy Industries in Korea for two pressure vessels and four steam generators for Sanmen 1 and Haiyang 1. The pressure vessels for the other two units are being made by Chinese manufacturers: China First Heavy Industries (CFHI, also known as YiZhong) for Sanmen 2 and Shanghai Electric Group Corporation (SEC) for Haiyang 2. Steam generators for Sanmen 2 and Haiyang 2 are being manufactured by Harbin Power Equipment Co., Ltd. (HPEC) and SEC, respectively.
All four steam turbine generators are being manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). In a $521 million deal, Sanmen Nuclear Power ordered two turbine generator packages from MHI at the end of September 2007, with Shandong Nuclear Power ordering another two early in 2008. MHI's Takasago Machinery Works is manufacturing the turbines, including rotors and blades. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation is supplying the generators and HPEC, partnering with MHI, is responsible for turbine casings, piping and associated facilities. The turbines will reportedly boost the capacity of the reactors from their designed 1175 MWe to 1250 MWe gross.
In February 2007, EDF entered a cooperation agreement with CGNPC to build and operate a two-unit EPR power station at Yangjiang in Guangdong province. This deal was not expected to involve the technology transfer which is central to the Westinghouse contracts, since the EPR has multiple redundant safety systems rather than passive safety systems and is seen to be more complex and expensive, hence of less long-term interest to China. However, negotiations with Areva and EDF dragged on and in August 2007 it was announced that the EPR project had been shuffled to Taishan (in Guangdong) so that six CPR-1000 units previously planned for that site could be built at Yangjiang as soon as possible.
At a November 2007 ceremony attended by Chinese president Hu Jintao and French president Nicolas Sarkozy in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Areva initialed an €8 billion contract with CGNPC for the two EPRs at Taishan plus supply of fuel to 2026 and other materials and services for them. The whole project, including fuel supply, totals €8 billion, of which the nuclear reactors themselves were reported to be about €3.5 billion. Steam turbine generators costing €300 million are included in the larger sum. The Guangdong Development Commission quotes the total investment in both units as CNY 49.85 billion ($7.3 billion). The joint venture partners will put up CNY 16.45 billion and the balance will be borrowed with guarantee from the Central Bank of France. French export credits for the project are reported as EUR 1.7 billion ($2.4 billion), covering purchase of equipment such as pressure vessel and steam generators from French suppliers.
In August 2008, EDF and CGNPC signed the final agreements for the creation of Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited (TNPC). EDF will hold 30% of TNPC for a period of 50 years (the maximum period permitted for a joint venture in China), CGNPC 70%. TNPC will oversee the building, then own and operate the plant. EDF will pay €600 to 800 million over four years for this share, subject to approval by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce. (EDF is project manager and architect for the Flamanville 3 EPR project in France, and this initiative consolidates its change in corporate strategy outside France as expressed already in the UniStar joint venture set up in mid-2007 with Constellation in USA to build, own and operate a fleet of US-EPRs in North America.)
CGNPC subsidiary China Nuclear Power Engineering Co. and Areva also set up an engineering joint venture Wecan, in December 2009. This is 55% CGNPC and 45% Areva, is based in Shenzen, and builds on Areva's European experience
CGNPC authorised construction in July 2008 and first concrete was poured on 28 October 2009, though the official inauguration ceremony was not until 21 December. Construction on the second unit started in April 2010. The first unit should be completed at the end of 2013 and the second in 2015. Areva is fabricating major components for both units. The Arabelle steam turbines and 1750 MWe generators are being purchased separately from Alstom and Dongfang Electric Co.
In 2007, nuclear power plants provided 62.86 billion kWh - 2.3% of total - and there is now 8.6 GWe (net) installed. The first two nuclear power plants in mainland China were at Daya Bay near Hong Kong and Qinshan, south of Shanghai, with construction starting in the mid-1980s.
China's concerted nuclear expansion began with the National Development and Reform Commission's (NDRC's) Tenth Economic Plan for the years 2001-2005. (China's first economic plan was in 1953 and began China's centrally planned industrialization under Mao Zedong.) The Eleventh Economic Plan for the years 2006-2010 set even more ambitious goals than the Tenth for new nuclear plant construction, and marked a watershed in China's commitment to third-generation reactors, such as the Sanmen plant in Zhejiang province and Haiyang plant in Shandong province (see section above on Reactor technology).
The Tenth Five-Year Plan incorporated the construction of eight nuclear power plants, though the timeline for contracts was extended, putting the last two into the 11th plan. In May 2004, the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) applied to build eight (four pairs) of new reactors, four of them for China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC):
And the following, which slipped to the Eleventh Plan:
In July 2004, the State Council formally approved the two CPR-1000 units at Lingao. The two CNP-600 Qinshan Phase II units 3&4 of 650 MWe were subsequently approved and CNNC announced that the next two there would be 1000 MWe indigenous units (now seen as very unlikely or much delayed, and in effect Fangjiashan, adjacent to Qinshan 1, takes over this role).
The 11th Five Year Plan (2006-10) has firmer environmental goals than previously, including reduction of 20% in the amount of energy required per unit of GDP, i.e. 4% reduction per year.
As well as the Sanmen and Yangjiang projects slipped from the 10th Plan, nuclear power developments originally proposed in the 11th Plan included:
In 2007, it was announced that three state-owned corporations had been approved to own and operate nuclear power plants: CNNC, CGNPC and China Power Investment Corporation (CPI). Any other public or private companies are to have minority shares in new projects. CGNPC is increasingly preeminent in actual nuclear power plants.
By the end of the 12th Five Year Plan (2011-15) some 25 GWe is planned to be operational, and 45 GWe by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan.
More than 16 provinces, regions and municipalities have announced intentions to build nuclear power plants in the 12th Five Year Plan 2011-15. These include Henan and Sichuan, as well as those listed in the Further nuclear power units proposed Table below - most of which have preliminary project approval by the central government but are not necessarily scheduled for construction. Provinces put together firm proposals with reactor vendors by 2008 and submitted them to the central government's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) for approval during 2009. NRDC consideration is via the new National Energy Administration (NEA). A great many proposals were received, many of which will be deferred to the 13th Plan.
In its 2007 Annual Report, CPI said that at the end of the 12th Five Year Plan it expected to have 100 GWe of controllable installed capacity including three nuclear power bases: Liaoning, Shandong and inland.5
The complex ownership structure of Chinese nuclear plants is described in Appendix 1: Government Structure and Ownership, and China's considerable heavy engineering and manufacturing capacity is detailed in the information page on Heavy Manufacturing of Power Plants.
Operating nuclear plants
Operating nuclear reactors
Daya Bay, Lingao
The Daya Bay reactors in Guangdong province are standard 3-loop French PWR units supplied by Framatome, with GEC-Alstom turbines. Electricite de France (EDF) managed construction, starting August 1987, with the participation of Chinese engineers. Commercial operation of the two units was in February and May 1994. There were long outages in 1994-96 when Framatome had to replace major components. Reactor vessel heads were replaced in 2004. The plant produces about 13 billion kWh per year, with 70% transmitted to Hong Kong and 30% to Guangdong.
The Lingao Phase I reactors are virtually replicas of adjacent Daya Bay. Construction started in May 1997 and Lingao 1 started up in February 2002 entering commercial operation in May. Lingao 2 was connected to the grid about September 2002 and entered commercial operation in January 2003. The two Lingao reactors use French technology supplied by Framatome, but with 30% localisation. They are now designated CPR-1000. They are reported to have cost $1800 per kilowatt.
Daya Bay and Lingao together comprise the 'Daya Bay nuclear power base' under the common management of Daya Bay Nuclear Power Operations & Management Co (DNMC), part of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC). Framatome is now Areva NP. For Lingao Phase II, see below.
Qinshan 1 in Zhejiang province 100 km southwest of Shanghai, is China's first indigenously-designed and constructed nuclear power plant (though with the pressure vessel supplied by Mitsubishi, Japan). Design of the 300 MWe PWR was by the Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute (SNERDI). Construction work spanned 6.5 years from March 1985, with first grid connection in December 1991. It was shut down for 14 months for major repairs from mid-1998.
In October 2007, Qinshan 1 was shut down for a major upgrade. The entire instrument and control system was replaced, along with the reactor pressure vessel head and control rod drives. Areva NP supervised the work, which is likely to lead to life extension beyond the original 30 years.
Qinshan Phase II units 1&2 are locally-designed and constructed 2-loop PWR reactors, scaled up from Qinshan 1, and designated CNP-600. Unit 1 started up at the end of 2001 and entered commercial operation in April 2002. Unit 2 started up in March 2004, with commercial operation in May 2004.
Qinshan Phase III units 1&2 use the Candu 6 pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) technology, with Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) being the main contractor of the project on a turnkey basis. Construction began in 1997 and unit 1 started up in September 2002 and unit 2 in April 2003. They are each about 665 MWe net.
Tianwan Phase I at at Lianyungang city in Jiangsu province is a Russian AES-91 power plant (with two 1060 MWe VVER reactors) constructed under a cooperation agreement between China and Russia - the largest such project ever. The cost is reported to be $3.2 billion, with China contributing $1.8 billion of this. Completion was delayed due to corrosion in the steam generators which resulted in some tubes having to be plugged with a net loss of capacity of about 2%. The first unit was grid connected in May 2006 and put into commercial operation in June 2007. The second was grid connected in May 2007, with commercial operation in August 2007. Design life is 40 years.
Nuclear plants under construction and planned
China Guangdong Nuclear Power (CGNPC) expects to spend $ 9.5 billion on its Lingao Phase II, Yangjiang and Taishan nuclear power plants by 2010 and to have 6000 MWe on line by then, with 12,000 MWe under construction. Work is under way at all these sites and also at Ningde. It is also making efforts to start on the Lufeng plant at Shanwei in Guangdong and Wuhu in Anhui province, but awaits NDRC approval. It is expecting to have 34,000 MWe nuclear capacity on line by 2020, providing 20% of the province's power, and 16,000 MWe under construction then. From 2010 it expects to commission three units per year and, from 2015, four units per year. CGNPC is also, due to State Council policy, committed to developing significant wind capacity through CGN Wind Co. It projects a total of 500 MWe by 2020.
China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group plans to 2020, as of about 2005
In 2006, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) signed agreements in Liaoning, Hebei, Shandong and Hunan provinces and six cities in Hunan, Anhui and Guangdong provinces to develop nuclear projects. CNNC has pointed out that there is room for 30 GWe of further capacity by 2020 in coastal areas and maybe more inland such as Hunan "where conditions permit". In October 2007, CNNC's list of projects included Chuanshan (Jiangsu province), Jiyang (Anhui), Hebao Island (Guangdong), Shizu (Chongqing), Xudabao (Liaoning) and Qiaofushan (Hebei) amongst others.
CNNC said in December 2006 that it planned to build four 1000 MWe units at Heyuan, inland in northeast Guangdong, at a cost of US$ 6.4 billion, but no timing was mentioned.
In mid-2009, Huaneng Nuclear Power Development Co – a subsidiary of China Huaneng Group (CHNG) – said it had opened an office in the city of Yingtan in China's inland Jiangxi province for the development of a new nuclear power plant in the area. This is one of five sites for nuclear plants after Rongcheng which CHNG was reported in May to have selected: Cangnan in Zhejiang province, Huaining in Anhui, Xuyi in Jiangsu, and Xiapu in Fujian being the others.
In November 2007, the NDRC said that the government had budgeted CNY 450 billion ($65 billion) to build nuclear power capacity by 2020. It had selected 13 coastal sites to accommodate 59.46 GWe.
In December 2009, CGNPC is reported to have signed a CNY 5.3 billion ($776 million) nuclear island installation contract with China Nuclear Power Engineering Group Co (CNPEC), apparently covering Ningde 3&4 in Fujian, Yangjiang 3&4 in Guangdong, Fangchenggang 1&2 in Guangxi, and Taishan 1&2 in Guangdong. This is the largest contract of its kind in China.
Nuclear reactors under construction and planned
Where construction has started, the dates are marked in bold. Those here not under construction are marked as 'planned' in the WNA reactor table when it updated. At 29 June 2010, 24 under construction: 26,560 MWe; 33 planned: 36,910 MWeFangjiashan is sometimes shown as a development of Qinshan Phase I.
Further nuclear power units proposed
All PWR except Shidaowan HTR-PM. Some of these entries are based on sketchy information. For WNA reactor table, 80% of numbers and capacity from this table are listed as 'Proposed'
Lingao Phase II
While the bidding process for the delayed Generation III plants from overseas vendors was in train over more than two years (see section above on Embarking upon Generation III plants), the Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC) signed contracts with Chinese designers and manufacturers for two CPR-1000 reactors as Phase II of the Lingao power station (also known as Lingdong). Construction started in December 2005 and unit 1 started up in June 2010 and grid connection is expected in July, 55 months after construction start. Unit 2 is expected to start up in 2011. Each unit has a capacity of 1080 MWe (gross), or 1037 MWe (net). Unit 1 is about 50% localized and unit 2 will be 70% localized, under the project management of China Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (CNPEC), part of CGNPC. Turbine-generator sets are being provided by Alstom. In June 2009, the first Chinese-made reactor pressure vessel for a 1000 MWe reactor was delivered for unit 2, from Dongfang (Guangzhou) Heavy Machinery Co.
Qinshan Phase II-3&4
Construction of the second stage of Qinshan Phase II was formally inaugurated at the end of April 2006, though first concrete had been poured for unit 3 in March. That for unit 4 was poured in January 2007. Local content of the two 650 MWe CNP-600 reactors will be more than 70% and scheduled construction time is 60 months.
Construction of the first unit of the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant in Dalian, Liaoning, started in August 2007, though site works had been under way for a year. It is described by CGNPC as the first nuclear power project in the 11th Five-Year Plan, with owner and operator being Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co. NNSA issued a construction licence for units 3 & 4 in March 2009, and first concrete for unit 3 was poured soon afterwards. The cost of all four 1080 MWe CPR-1000 units in the first construction phase is put at CNY 50 billion (US$ 6.6 billion). China Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (CNPEC), part of CGNPC, is managing the project – the first nuclear plant in the northeast of China. Shanghai Electric won a $260 million contract for equipment and Alstom is to provide the four turbine-generator sets for $184 million. Commercial operation is planned for 2012-14. The project incorporates a 10,080 m3/day desalination plant.
In May 2010, the NRDC approved preliminary work on the two-unit phase 2 of the plant, and work began in June.
Construction of CGNPC's six-unit Ningde nuclear power plant commenced in 2008. This is on three islands in Fuding city in northeast of Fujian province, and the first construction phase comprises four CPR-1000 units. The project was approved by the National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) in September 2006, and local content will be about 75% for units 1&2 and 85% for units 3&4. Construction of the first unit started in February 2008, and CGNPC expects commercial operation of it after 58 months, in December 2012, with the others following to 2015. First concrete for the second unit was in November 2008, and for the third early in January 2010. Total cost for four units was put at CNY 51 billion ($7.2 billion).
Construction of the six-unit Fuqing nuclear power plant 170 km south of Ningde also commenced in 2008 at Qianxe, Fuqing city in Fujian, near Fuzhou. The Fujian Fuqing Nuclear Co Ltd was set up in May 2006 with 49% held by China Huadian Corp. CNNC is responsible for the project which is using CGNPC's CPR-1000 reactors since alternatives are not licensed. First concrete for unit 1 was poured in November 2008, and for unit 2 in June 2009. Commercial operation is expected in 2013 and 2014. Site works are under way for a further four units there, total expected cost being CNY 100 billion ($14.6 billion). Construction of the project is by China Nuclear Power Engineering Co. (CNPE) and the reactor pressure vessels will be supplied by China First Heavy Industries, as for Fangjiashan. In June 2008, Dongfang Electric Group announced a CNY 5 billion ($725 million) contract for steam turbine generators for the Fuqing and Fangjiashan plants.
Yangjiang city in western Guangdong province had originally been earmarked for the country's first Generation III plants (see section above on Embarking upon Generation III plants). After plans changed in the light of pressing generation needs in the region, Yangjiang will be the second nuclear power base of the Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC). Development of all six units of the Yangjiang plant was approved in 2004, with CPR-1000 later confirmed as technology for it. Construction of the first of two units started in December 2008, for commercial operation in 2013. The second pair of units follow closely, with site works started in mid-2009, then the final two (as the second construction phase), with the last being built by 2017. Total cost is put at CNY 70 billion ($10.1 billion).
Yangjiang 1-6 and a further 14 units, along with the six units at Daya Bay/Lingao, will be operated under regional Daya Bay (DNMC) management.
Construction of CNNC's Fangjiashan plant started at the end of December 2008. It is close to the Qinshan plant in Zhejiang province and essentially an extension of it, using two CPR-1000 reactors. Construction of the CNY 26 billion ($3.8 billion) project is by China Nuclear Power Engineering Co. (CNPE) and the reactor pressure vessels will be supplied by China First Heavy Industries, as for Fuqing. In June 2008, Dongfang Electric Group announced a CNY 5 billion ($725 million) contract for steam turbine generators for the Fuqing and Fangjiashan plants.
At the end of 2006, the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design was selected for Sanmen in Zhejiang province (and for Yangjiang in Guangdong province, with the latter site changed to Haiyang). Contracts with Westinghouse and Shaw for two units were signed in July 2007. Site works under CNNC commenced in February 2008 and an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract was signed in March 2009 between SNPTC + CNNC and China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Group (CNEC) for both units, which will be overseen by Westinghouse and Shaw. Other stakeholders are Zhejiang Provincial Energy Group Co Ltd, CPI Nuclear Power Co Ltd, and China Huadian Corp. Construction on Sanmen 1 – the world's first AP1000 unit – officially commenced on 19 April 2009. The reactor is expected to begin operation in August 2013 with unit 2 about one year later. Construction on unit 2 commenced in mid-December 2009. See section on Embarking upon Generation III plants above.
Shangdong Nuclear Power Company (a subsidiary of CPI) signed contracts with Westinghouse and Shaw for two AP1000 units in July 2007. Work on the site has started and first concrete was poured in September 2009 for unit 1 and June 2010 for unit 2. These are expected to commence operation in 2014 and 2015. The site will eventually have six or eight units, and in March 2009, the NDRC approved preliminary works for units 3 and 4 at the CPI site, to be AP1000 units. Construction is expected to start late in 2010. See section on Embarking upon Generation III plants above.
The first two 1650-1700 MWe EPRs planned for Taishan in Guangdong province form part of an €8 billion contract signed by Areva and the Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC) in November 2007. The Taishan project (sometimes referred to as Yaogu) is owned by the Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited (TNPC), a joint venture between EDF (30%) and CGNPC. First concrete was poured in October 2009, and unit 1 should be commissioned early in 2014, with unit 2 in 2015. Areva is fabricating major components for both units and expects net capacity to be 1660 MWe each. See section on Embarking upon Generation III plants above.
A demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant, with twin reactor modules driving a single 210 MWe steam turbine, was approved in November 2005, to be built at Shidaowan, near Rongcheng in Weihai city, Shandong province, by Huaneng Shidaowan Nuclear Power Company Ltd (HSNPC). This joint venture is led by the China Huaneng Group Co. – the country's largest generating utility but hitherto without nuclear capacity. Huaneng Power International is investing CNY 5 billion in the project, which received environmental clearance in March 2008 for construction start in September 2009 and commissioning by 2013. The EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) contract was let in October 2008, and involves Shanghai Electric Co and Harbin Power Equipment Co. A simulator contract signed in May 2010 was between HSNPC, Chinergy and CGNPC Simulator Co. This will be the demonstration plant for a further 18 modules at the site, total 3,800 MWe. (See also Research and development section in page on China's Nuclear Fuel Cycle.)
In November 2007, China Huaneng Group (CHNG) signed an agreement with CGNPC for the Huaneng Nuclear Power Development Company to build four CPR-1000 reactors at Shidaowan, Rongcheng city, in Shandong province in an $8 billion deal. A letter of intent regarding the first two was signed in 2008. However, this has now become another AP1000 project and National Development and Reform Commission approval is being sought. In October 2009, the Shidaowan Nuclear Power Development Limited Company was set up with capital contribution 40% CHNG, 30% Huaneng International Power Development Corp. (HIPDC) and 30% Huaneng Power International (HPI) – both being CHNG subsidiaries. Construction is expected to start in 2013. The site is also earmarked for the first CAP1400 units (see Reactor technology section above).
The Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Project is located at Hongsha village, in the Beibu Gulf Economic Zone near Bailong in the coastal city of Fangchenggang in the Guangxi Autonomous Region (45 km from the Vietnam border in south China). Following an agreement in July 2006, the first stage (two 1080 MWe CPR-1000 units out of six planned) of the plant was approved by NDRC in October 2008, and again in July 2010. CPI is keen to see this proceed, site works have been undertaken and first concrete was expected at the end of 2009, but a construction licence is awaited from NNSA.
In October 2009, a general construction contract was signed with CNPEC. Guangxi Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Co., Ltd., a joint venture between China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (61%) and Guangxi Investment Group (39%), is responsible for the construction and operation. The first unit is expected to begin commercial operation in 2015. Total budget is CNY 70 billion ($10.26 billion), with CNY 24 billion ($3.5 billion) for stage 1. (There is also a Fangchengang supercritical 2400 MWe coal-fired power station operated by CLP Guangxi Fangchenggang Power Company Limited, a 70:30 equity-basis joint venture between China Light & Power and Guangxi Water & Power Engineering (Group) Co., Ltd.)
Tianwan Phases II & III
In October 2006, a preliminary agreement for two further 1060 MWe AES-91 reactors as the second construction phase at Tianwan in Lianyungang city of Jiangsu province was signed with Russia's Atomstroyexport. Construction of units 3 & 4 was to start when both the first two units were commissioned, and hence in November 2007 a further agreement was signed by CNNC.
Preliminary approval from NDRC was received in August 2009. Construction is expected to start in October 2010, and the project is expected to cost $3.8 billion. However, in September 2009 it was reported that negotiations on the price were delaying signing of the construction contract with Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation and that Atomstroyexport would not act as the principal contractor, though it insists on retaining intellectual property rights. However, in October agreement was reached on fixing a price ceiling for the plant.
In August 2009 the Assets Supervision & Administration Commission announced that Phase 3 of Tianwan (units 5 & 6) would start construction in October 2010. These are likely to be AES-2006 type. A contract for the engineering design of Tianwan 3 & 4 is expected to be signed in June 2010, and the general construction contract may be signed later in 2010.
In November 2006, an agreement was signed by CNNC to proceed with the first two units of the Hongshiding nuclear plant at Hongshiding in Weihai or Rushan city, Shandong province, costing $ 3.2 billion, with construction to begin in 2009 and first power in 2015. However, it appears to have been deferred. Six units totaling 6000-8000 MWe are envisaged at the site, with Shandong Hongshiding Nuclear Power Co. Ltd as developer.
CNNC's Changjiang nuclear power plant on Hainan Island started construction in April 2010 for operation of the first unit in 2014 and the second in 2015. It will eventually comprise four 650 MWe PWR units (CNP-600) based on those at Qinshan Phase II. Total cost of the first pair is put at about CNY 19 billion ($2.8 billion). Units 3 & 4 will be built as the second phase of construction. China Huaneng Group (CHNG) holds a 49% share in Hainan Nuclear Power Co Ltd. More than 70% of its equipment is to be made in China.
In October 2009, an agreement was signed by CIAE and CNEIC (a CNNC subsidiary responsible for technology imports) with Russia's Atomstroyexport to start pre-project and design works for a commercial nuclear power plant with two BN-800 fast neutron reactors at Sanming city, an inland part of Fujian province. A site survey and preliminary feasibility study had been undertaken in 2007-08. CNNC in April 2010 established Sanming Nuclear Power Co Ltd as a joint venture company with the Fujian Investment & Development Corp and local government, and initiated a full feasibility study. Construction is due to start in 2013, the local content is targeted at 70%, and the first unit is to be in operation in 2019. Both units are to be in operation with "full Chinese self-reliance" in 2020. A second phase, with units 3 & 4, is due to commence in 2015. The plant will be similar to the OKBM Afrikantov design being built at Beloyarsk 4 and due to start up in 2012. (In June 2009, Rosatom and CNNC had signed an agreement for construction of two BN-800 demonstration reactors, and St Petersburg Atomenergopoekt said it was starting design work on a BN-800 reactor for China.)
CGNPC's Lianyungang nuclear power project is planned to have four units of 1000 MWe class to be constructed in phases. This is in Jiangsu province close to CNNC's Tianwan plant and involving the Jiangsu Nuclear Power Company. A proposal has been submitted to the NRDC and preparations for the project are proceeding, but prospects in the 12th Five Year Plan are uncertain.
China Guodian's first nuclear power venture, with CNNC holding 51%, will initially have two AP1000 reactors, on the coast in Fujian province.
In August 2008, CGNPC and Hubei Energy Group Ltd set up the Hubei Nuclear Power Company as a joint venture and announced plans to build a nuclear power plant in Xianning city of the inland Hubei province. Site works for this Dafan plant (four AP1000 units) in Xishui county are under way. Construction of the first two units is expected to start late in 2010 or early 2011. Cost of first two construction phases (4000 MWe) was earlier put at CNY 50 billion ($7.3 billion), using CPR-1000 units, but AP1000 reactors are now intended, making it CGNPC's first AP1000 plant. A third phase is estimated to cost CNY 45 billion. Reports of a Songzi plant may refer to later stages of Dafan, though possible projects in Yangxin county and Zhongxiang city have been mentioned.
The Wuhu nuclear plant on the Yangtze River in the Bamaoshan area, Fanchang county, of Anhui province was planned to have four 1000 MWe CPR-1000 units, but is now designated for AP1000s to be constructed in two phases. CGNPC's proposal for two units of phase 1 has been submitted, some preparatory work is under way and the Anhui Wuhu Nuclear Power Co has been set up, with 51% CGNPC ownership. The first unit is due on line in 2016.
Besides Wuhu, CNNC was reported as starting a feasibility study on another four-unit nuclear plant in the Anhui province, at Jiyang in Chizhou city, in December 2008.
CPI's Jiangxi Pengze Nuclear Power Project in Jiangxi province is to have four AP1000 reactors costing CNY 60 billion ($8.8 billion). The site has been prepared for the first two units, and safety and environmental approvals were obtained in May 2009. CPI signed the EPC contract framework for phase 1 (units 1 & 2) in August 2009, the engineering project contract was reported to be between CPI Jiangxi Nuclear Power and CPIC. The equipment procurement was reported to be between CPIC and China Power Complete Equipment. CPI aims to start construction in 2010, for 2013 start-up. The project is inland in Juijiang city, on the Yangtze River, and will use cooling towers.
CNNC's Taohuajiang nuclear power plant on the Zi River in Yiyang city, near Yueyang in inland Hunan province will be China's first inland nuclear power plant. It is expected to start construction in September 2010, and site works are under way. (It is also referred to as the Taohua [peach blossom] River project.) CNNC set up Hunan Taohuajiang Nuclear Power Co Ltd. to build and operate the plant. Initially this was to be 4 x 1000 MWe at a total cost of CNY 34 billion, but it will now be a four-unit AP1000 project costing CNY 67 billion. The main contractor is China Nuclear Industry 23rd Construction Co Ltd; China Erzhong is contracted to supply the main pressure vessel forgings, and Dongfang Electric Corp will supply other major components. Germany's GEA Group is to construct the world's largest cooling tower for unit 1: a natural draft unit some 200 metres high and 160 m in diameter, with 15,000 square metres drenching area.
It was approved by the NDRC in November 2005, and in 2008 the project was approved for preliminary construction. The design by SNERDI under SNPTC and SNPDRI was submitted to the NNSA in February 2010 for licensing. The first unit is expected in commercial operation in April 2015, and the fourth in 2018.
The Xiaomoshan nuclear power plant on the Yangtze River in Yueyang city, Huarong county, Hunan province (inland), is a priority project for CPI. It will eventually have six AP1000 reactors and be built by Hunan Nuclear Power Company Ltd in two phases. NDRC approval was given in 2006 but as of mid-2009 NNSA approval was awaited. First concrete is expected late in 2010. The cost is put at CNY 70 billion ($10.25 billion), funded by SNPTC and Wuling Electric Power Development Co. (a CPI subsidiary).
In August 2009, CNNC (51%) signed a joint venture agreement with Jiangxi Ganneng Co. Ltd and Jiangxi Ganyue Expressway Co Ltd (49% between them) to build the Wanan Yianjiashan nuclear power project at Ji'an in the Jiangxi province. The name is provisional and the detail scant.
Also in August 2009, CNNC signed an agreement with Hengyang city in Hunan province to build a nuclear power plant there or nearby. This is about 200km south of its Taohuajiang project at Yiyang city in Hunan. China Guodian Corporation, one of the country's largest power producers, is involved in the project though it has no nuclear capacity so far.
In July 2008, it was announced that Sichuan province in the southwest was planning the 4000-6000 MWe Sanba nuclear power plant at Nanchong or Nanchun city on the Jialing River, at a cost of CNY 25 billion ($3.7 billion). Majority ownership would be CGNPC. Another Sichuan agreement has been signed between CNNC and Yibin city.
In December 2009, China Huadian Corp signed an agreement with Xiangtan city government in Hunan to undertake studies for a CNY 60 billion power plant comprising four 1250 MWe reactors. A refined proposal is expected in September 2010. This will apparently be the fourth nuclear project for China Huadian.
In October 2008 a project proposal was submitted to NDRC by CNNC and Zhejiang Energy Group Co Ltd for a western Zhejiang nuclear power plant in Hangzhou with four AP1000 reactors, though earlier reports had four 1000 MWe units to be built in two phases from late 2010. The proposed site is Tuanshi, Longyou county.
CPI plans to spend CNY 85 billion to build the six-unit Jingyu nuclear power plant near Baishan, in Jilin province, with four units to be in stage 1. The project is still in the preliminary feasibility stage, though preparatory work is envisaged in 2012.
To be a six-unit CNNC plant in Henan province.
1. Cost of Pollution in China: Economic Estimates of Physical Damages, The World Bank, State Environmental Protection Administration, P. R. China (February 2007) [Back]
2. Platts Power in Asia, 21 January 2010 [Back]
3. International Energy Outlook 2009, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, DOE/EIA-0484(2009), available at www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/index.html [Back]
4. APWR and HTR are listed into the national program, CNNC news release (24 February 2006) [Back]
5. 2007 Annual Report of China Power Investment Corporation (26 November 2008) [Back]
China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group website (www.cgnpc.com.cn)
China National Nuclear Corporation website (www.cnnc.com.cn)
Country Analysis Briefs: China, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, available at http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/index.html
Uranium 2007: Resources, Production and Demand, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and International Atomic Energy Agency, 2008 (ISBN: 9789264047662)
Nicobar Group website (www.nicobargroup.com)
Dynabond PowerTech website (www.dynabondpowertech.com)
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Nuclear Portal | Glossary | eShop | Picture Library | Jobs
© World Nuclear Association. All Rights Reserved 'Promoting the peaceful worldwide use of nuclear power as a sustainable energy resource'