China is now among the leading countries in nuclear power technologies, highlighted by the successful connection of the country’s first nuclear power unit using Hualong One, a domestically developed third-generation nuclear reactor, to the grid.
Aerial photo taken on Dec. 1, 2021 shows nuclear power units under the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) in Fuqing, southeast China’s Fujian Province. (Photo/Xinhua)
The No. 5 nuclear power unit of the Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant in the city of Fuqing, southeast China’s Fujian Province, was connected to the power network for the first time on Nov. 27, 2020 and started to generate electricity, allowing China to break some foreign countries’ monopoly in nuclear power technologies, and has been among the world’s leaders in this regard.
It is also the world’s first third-generation reactor put into operation as scheduled, according to Gao Jinzhu, deputy general manager of China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Corporation Limited (CNECC).
From the construction of Pakistan’s Chashma Nuclear Power Plant, the first commercial nuclear power plant China exported, to that of Phase III of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant, which is the first nuclear power plant on the Chinese mainland, and Hualong One, Chen has witnessed the ceaseless improvement of intelligent manufacturing in China.
As China leads the world in the installed capacity of nuclear power and nuclear power capacity under construction, CNECC has become a world-renowned constructor of nuclear power stations. The company can now construct 40 nuclear power units at the same time, up from two units.
Being able to construct nuclear power units using different nuclear reactors and specifications such as Hualong One, heavy water reactors, EPRs, and AP1000s, CNECC has reached an internationally advanced level in nuclear power construction and management.
CNECC is the backbone of China’s nuclear power construction. Sixty nuclear power units built by the company have become operational, and another 23 units are under construction in China.
In 2019, a core machine of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) entered the installation phase. A consortium led by ITER Organization and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) signed the Tokamak Assembly Contract 1 (TAC1). It was the first time for a Chinese nuclear power enterprise to successfully participate in international scientific projects in the form of general contracting.
Though China was a latecomer, it will become a leader in nuclear power construction in the world, said Chen Baozhi, chairman of CNECC.