Back to all posts

Nuclear Power in China

10 Jul 2019

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, and the new leadership from March 2013 is expected to tackle this.* The State Council estimates it may spend CNY 2.37 trillion ($380 billion) on conservation and emissions cuts in the five years through 2015. 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.

* Official measurements of fine particles in the air measuring less than 2.5 micrometres, which pose the greatest health risk, rose to a record 993 micrograms per cubic metre in Beijing on 12 January 2013, compared with World Health Organization guidelines of no higher than 25.

Domestic electricity production in 2009 was 3643 billion kWh, 6.0% higher than the 3450 billion kWh in 2008, which was 5.8% more than in 2007 (3260 billion kWh).. Installed generating capacity had grown by the end of 2010 to 962 GWe, up 10.1% on the previous year's 874 GWe, which was 10.2% above the 2008 figure of 793 GWe. Capacity growth is expected to slow, reaching about 1600 GWe in 2020, and 2000 GWe in 2025.

Electricity consumption in 2012 rose only 5.5% to 4.9 trillion kWh, reflecting lower exports. In 2011 it rose 11.7% to 4693 billion kWh, according to the China Electricity Administration, corresponding with a 10% growth in GDP. Some 3090 billion kWh of this was in industry. Installed generating capacity increased about 8.5% (90 GWe) to 1.14 TWe in 2012, compared with a 10.06% increase to 962 GWe in 2010 and then 9.4% (90 GWe) in 2011. Coal accounted for 59% of the newly-added capacity in 2012.

At the end of 2010, fossil fuelled capacity (mostly coal) reached 707 GWe, hydro capacity was 213 GWe (up 16.6 GWe in the year), nuclear capacity was 10.8 GWe and wind capacity reached 31 GWe. Investment in electricity dropped to CNY 705 billion ($107 billion) for the year. A 2013 report from the NDRC said that China added 15 GWe of wind energy capacity in 2012 and 3 GWe of solar. It endorsed targets to add 21 GWe of hydroelectric capacity, 18 GWe of wind and 10 GWe of solar in 2013.

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 and 11 GWe in 2010, making 71 GWe closed since 2006, cutting annual coal consumption by about 82 million tonnes and annual carbon dioxide emissions by some 165 million tonnes. China is well advanced in developing and deploying supercritical and ultra-supercritical coal plants, as well as moving quickly to design and deploy technologies for integrated (coal) gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants.

The grid system run by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) and China Southern Power Grid Co (CSG) is sophisticated and rapidly growing, utilising ultra high voltage (1000 kV AC and 800 kV DC) transmission. By 2015 SGCC is investing CNY 500 billion ($75.5 billion) to extend the UHV grid to 40,000 km. By 2020, the capacity of the UHV network is expected to be some 300 GW, which will function as the backbone of the whole system, having 400 GWe of clean energy sources connected, of which hydropower will account for 78 GW, and wind power from the north a further significant portion. At present up to half of the wind output is wasted – 2.8 TWh in 2012, because of limited grid connections, according to a China Daily report. Wind capacity by 2020 is planned to be 100 GWe. Also by 2020, operational transmission losses are expected to be 5.7%, down from 6.6% in 2010. At the end of 2009, China had budgeted to spend $600 billion upgrading its grid. By 2020 operational transmission losses are expected to be 5.7%, down from 6.6% in 2010.

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. The main nuclear operators are China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN).

While coal is the main energy source, most reserves are in the north or northwest and present an enormous logistical problem – nearly half the country's rail capacity is used in transporting coal. In 2011 China consumed 3.7 billion tonnes of coal, some 47% of world consumption. 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. China's coal consumption is expected to exceed 4 billion tones per year by 2015 - half the world total. Gas consumption in 2013 is forecast to be 165 billion cubic metres, up 11.9% on 2012.

China's energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product met a target reduction of 20% from 2005 levels by the end of 2010, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The energy intensity targets for the following five years are expected to be about 17%.

In March 2013 the NDRC announced new plans for seawater desalination.* China aims to produce 2.2 million m3/day of desal water by 2015, more than three times the 2011 level. More than half of the freshwater channelled to islands and more than 15% of water delivered to coastal factories will come from the sea by 2015, according to the plan.

* The list includes the cities of Shenzhen and Zhoushan, Luxixiang Island in Zhejiang Province, Binhai New Area in Tianjin, Bohai New Area in Hebei, and several industrial parks and companies. The NDRC has asked the listed regions and companies to actively promote the application of desalted water and encourage its use in daily supplies. The cost is likely to be some CNY 21 billion ($3.35 billion).

Electricity generation is only one part of China's rapid development; roads, air transport and a 16,000 km high-speed rail system (powered by electricity) by 2020 are others. A record 486 km/h rail speed between Beijing and Shanghai was achieved in 2010, and by January 2011, 8358 km of 200 km/hr+ track was operational. By the end of 2011, 13,073 km of such track is expected to be in service after further investment of CNY 700 billion ($106 billion). Also the world's longest bridge - the 42 km Qingdao Haiwan bridge in Shandong province is being built.

A white paper on Energy Policy was released by the State Council on 24 October 2012. This included raising the proportion of clean, low-carbon fossil energy and non-fossil energy in the energy mix, and promoting the efficient and clean utilization of coal. It aims to increase the shares of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption. "China will invest more in nuclear power technological innovations, promote application of advanced technology, improve the equipment level, and attach great importance to personnel training. China's installed capacity of nuclear power is expected to reach 40 GWe by 2015." The installed generating capacity of wind power is expected to reach 100 GWe by the end of 2015, and that of solar energy is expected to exceed 21 GWe by then, with a total solar heat collection area of 400 million square metres.

Nuclear power

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 about 2005 the industry moved into 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.

By around 2040, PWRs are expected to level off at 200 GWe and fast reactors progressively increase from 2020 to at least 200 GWe by 2050 and 1400 GWe by 2100.

Prior to 2008, the government had planned to increase nuclear generating capacity to 40 GWe by 2020 (out of a total 1000 GWe planned), with a further 18 GWe nuclear being under construction then. However, projections for nuclear power then increased to 70-80 GWe by 2020, 200 GWe by 2030 and 400-500 GWe by 2050. Following the Fukushima accident and consequent pause in approvals for new plants, the target adopted by the State Council in October 2012 is now 60 GWe by 2020, with 30 GWe under construction. National policy has moved from ‘moderate development’ of nuclear power to ‘positive development’ in 2004, and in 2011-12 to ‘steady development with safety’. See further comment under Post-Fukushima Review below. 

In December 2011 the National Energy Administration (NEA) said that China will make nuclear energy the foundation of its power-generation system in the next "10 to 20 years", adding as much as 300 GWe of nuclear capacity over that period. Two weeks earlier the NDRC vice-director said that China would not swerve from its goal of greater reliance on nuclear power. 

An early 2013 report from NDRC said that 3240 MWe nuclear capacity would be added in 2013.

In September 2010, the China Daily reported that China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) alone planned to invest CNY 800 billion ($120 billion) into nuclear energy projects by 2020. Total investment in nuclear power plants, in which CNNC will hold controlling stakes, will reach CNY 500 billion ($75 billion) by 2015, resulting in 40 GWe on line, according to CNNC. In order to fund the company's expansion target, CNNC planned to list its subsidiary, CNNC Nuclear Power Co Ltd in 2011, to attract strategic investors, but this apparently did not occur.

Hong Kong supply

Hong Kong gets much of its power from mainland China, in particular about 70% of the output from Daya Bay's 1888 MWe net nuclear capacity is sent there. The Hong Kong government plans to close down its coal-fired plants, and by 2020 to get 50% of its power from mainland nuclear (now 23%), 40% from gas locally and 3% from renewables. Hong Kong utility China Light & Power has equity in CGN's Daya Bay and Yangjiang power plants, and may take equity in a further CGN nuclear plant. Since 1994 it gets one third of its power from Daya Bay output, and this contract now runs to 2034.

Regulation and safety – general

The National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) under the China Atomic Energy Authority was set up in 1984 and is the licensing and regulatory body which also maintains international agreements regarding safety. It reports to the State Council directly, but is perceived to be insufficiently independent of the CAEA, which plans new capacity and approves feasibility studies for new plants (see also SCRO report below). In relation to the AP1000, NNSA works closely with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

China has shown unprecedented eagerness to achieve world's best standards in nuclear safety (as also in civil aviation). It has requested and hosted 12 Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) missions from IAEA teams to October 2011, and each plant generally has one external safety review each year, either OSART, WANO peer review, or CNEA peer review (with the Research Institute for Nuclear Power Operations, RINPO).

Following the Fukushima accident in Japan in March 2011, the government suspended its approval process pending a review of lessons which might be learned from it, particularly regarding siting of reactors with plant layout, and control of radiation release. Safety checks of operating plants were undertaken immediately, and review of those under construction was completed in October 2011. Resumption of approvals for further new plants was suspended until a new nuclear safety plan was accepted and State Council approval given in October 2012 (see also Post-Fukushima review below).

Following the Fukushima accident, concern regarding possible river pollution will mean delays until at lest 2015 to the inland AP1000 plants which were due to start construction in 2011.

SCRO report on nuclear investment and safety

In January 2011 a report from the State Council Research Office (SCRO), which makes independent policy recommendations to the State Council on strategic matters, was published. While approving the enormous progress made on many fronts, it cautioned concerning provincial and corporate enthusiasm for new nuclear power plants and said that the 2020 target should be restricted to 70 GWe of new plant actually operating so as to avoid placing undue demand on quality control issues in the supply chain. Another 30 GWe could be under construction. It emphasised that the priority needed to be resolutely on Generation-III technology, notably the AP1000 and derivatives. However, ambitious targets to deploy AP1000s with reduced foreign input had proved difficult, and as a result, more of the Generation-II CPR-1000 units are under construction or on order. Only China is building Gen-II units today in such large numbers, with 57 (53.14 GWe) on the books.

SCRO said that reactors built today should operate for 50 or 60 years, meaning a large fleet of Gen-II units will still be in operation into the 2070s, when even Gen-III reactors would have given way to Generation-IV and perhaps even to commercial nuclear fusion. The country should be 'careful' concerning 'the volume of second generation units under construction... the scale should not be too large' to avoid any perception of being below international standards of safety in future, when most of the world's Gen-II reactors are retired. The SCRO noted the 100-fold increase in probabilistic safety brought by Gen-III, and that future generations would continue the trend.

Another factor potentially affecting safety is the nuclear power workforce. While staff can be technically trained in four to eight years, 'safety culture takes longer' at the operational level. This issue is magnified in the regulatory regime, where salaries are lower than in industry, and workforce numbers remain relatively low. SCRO said that most countries employ 30-40 regulatory staff per reactor in their fleet, but the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) has only 1000 staff - a figure that must more than quadruple by 2020. The SCRO recommended that 'The NNSA should be an entity directly under the State Council Bureau, making it an independent regulatory body with authority.' It is currently under the China Atomic Energy Authority, although it is understood to report to the State Council directly.

The report said that 32 further reactors 34.86 GWe had been approved by the state at end 2010, with 25 (27.73 GWe) then under construction.

The SCRO calculated that nuclear development would require new investment of some CNY 1 trillion ($151 billion) by 2020, not counting those units being built now. These projects rely mainly on debt, funds are tight, and 'investment risks cannot be discounted'. This cost figure could rise if supply chain issues impact schedules, with repercussions for companies borrowing to build and for the economics of the Chinese nuclear program overall. A major recommendation was to sort out bottlenecks in the supply chain for AP1000 reactors.

Post-Fukushima review

Following the Fukushima accident in March 2011, the State Council, announced on March 16 that it would suspend approvals for new nuclear power stations and conduct comprehensive safety checks of all nuclear projects, including those under construction (with an immediate halt required on any not satisfactory). It also suspended work on four approved units due to start construction in 2011*. About 34 reactors were already approved by the central government of which 26 were being built. The Shidaowan HTR, though ready for first concrete, was also delayed. After three months the inspections of operating plants had been completed, and those on plants under construction were completed by October (though construction had continued).

In May 2012 a new safety plan for nuclear power was approved in principle. The State Council considered a report on civil nuclear facilities including changes made since the Fukushima accident, and affirmed that the fundamental principle of China’s nuclear safety and radioactive pollution prevention is to put safety and quality first. It is now explicit that Chinese regulations are to fully incorporate the safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In an unprecedented move to improve the transparency of nuclear regulation the government then formally solicited public comments on its nuclear safety plan which must ensure that no ‘serious incident’ (INES Level 3) or greater occurs at any reactor. So far in China no nuclear incident has been over INES level 2. The plan involves significant expenditure across all of the country’s facilities.

On 24 October 2012 the premier outlined a modified approach to nuclear power construction at a State Council meeting, signaling that approvals for new plants could recommence. Construction of 25 reactors had continued following March 2011, and two of these are now on line.He said that nuclear power development would continue at a steady pace, with safety paramount so that that new reactors will have to comply with new-generation safety standards, and plans for inland plants would be put on hold until 2015. The nuclear capacity target for 2020 is now 58 GWe.

State Council approved the "12th 5-year Plan for Nuclear Safety and Radioactive Pollution Prevention and Vision for 2020", compiled by the Ministry of Environment. It suggested that China will need to spend RMB 80 billion ($13 billion) on improving nuclear safety at 41 operating and under construction reactors over the next three years. "China has multiple types of nuclear reactors, multiple technologies and multiple standards of safety, which makes them hard to manage," it said, adding that the operation and construction of nuclear reactors must improve. The chairman of CNNC commented that it was not technology or finance now holding back the sector in China, but the need to gain public acceptance, especially for inland projects. Nevertheless, "The pace of approvals will certainly be slower but the overall direction cannot be changed," he said. Details are expected following the 18th National Congress.

A series of research and development (R&D) projects was launched by the NEA in February 2012 to improve safety-related technology and the country’s emergency response capabilities at indigenous nuclear power plants in the event of an extreme disaster beyond design basis. The 13 R&D projects are being conducted by CNNC, CGN and the Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology (INET) at Tsinghua University. They include the development of passive emergency power supply and cooling water systems, development of passive containment heat removal systems, developing hydrogen control devices, measures for the prevention and mitigation of used fuel accidents, and analysing the impact of multiple simultaneous external events and response measures. Other projects will study the monitoring and treatment of contaminated ground and water. All are expected to be completed in 2013. Referring particularly to the CPR-1000 reactors being widely built in China, the NEA said that "Implementing the measures will comprehensively enhance safety of Generation II+ nuclear power technology in our country, and significantly reduce the core damage frequency and large early release frequency" to "internationally recognized levels" required for Generation III reactors. 

In July 2010 a 22-strong IAEA team from 15 countries carried out a two-week Integrated Regulatory Review Service mission to review of China's regulatory framework for nuclear safety. The IAEA made a number of recommendations but said that the review had provided "confidence in the effectiveness of the Chinese safety regulatory system and the future safety of the vast expanding nuclear industry."

Reactor technology

China has set the following points as key elements of its nuclear energy policy:

  • PWRs will be the mainstream but not sole reactor type.
  • Nuclear fuel assemblies are fabricated and supplied indigenously.
  • Domestic manufacturing of plant and equipment will be maximised, with self-reliance in design and project management.
  • International cooperation is nevertheless encouraged.

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 proposed 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". 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.

This trend was given impetus by the reappraisal of safety following the Fukushima accident.


Two Areva EPR reactors are being built at Taishan, and at least two more are planned. Areva says the reactors are 4590 MWt, with net power 1660 MWe.

In October 2008, Areva and CGN (then: CGNPC) announced establishment of an engineering joint venture as a technology transfer vehicle for development of the EPR and other PWR plants in China and later abroad. The JV would be held 55% by CGN and other Chinese interests, and 45% by Areva. It will engineer and procure equipment for both the EPR and the CPR-1000.

AP1000, CAP1000

The Westinghouse AP1000 is the main basis of China's move to Generation III technology, and involves a major technology transfer agreement. It is a 1250 MWe gross reactor with two coolant loops. The first four AP1000 reactors are being built at Sanmen and Haiyang, for CNNC and CPI respectively. Six more at three sites are firmly planned after them, at Sanmen, Haiyang and Lufeng (for CGN), and at least 30 more are proposed to follow. A State Council Research Office report in January 2011 emphasised that these should have priority over alternative designs such as CPR-1000, and this position strengthened following the Fukushima accident.

The reactors 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 for the first four units, with this expected to reduce significantly for the following units. The cost of the first four is expected to be less than $2000/kW, with this reducing to $1600 for further units. In October 2009, SNPTC and CNNC signed an agreement to co-develop and refine the AP1000 design, and this position strengthened following the Fukushima accident.

SNPTC also refers to a CAP1000, which is a local standardization of the design, transitional to CAP1400. It is said to have reduced cost and improved operation and maintenance attributes. The base design, commenced in 2008, is complete, the detailed design, started in April 2010, is due by June 2013. Early in 2012 SNPTC had organized SNERDI (nuclear island and general designer) and SNPDRI (for conventional island) to localize the design for both inland and coastal sites, for Xianning, Pengze and Taohuajiang.


Westinghouse announced in 2008 that it was working with SNPTC and Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute (SNERDI) to develop jointly a passively safe 1400-1500 MWe design from the AP1000/CAP1000, for large-scale deployment. SNPTC initially called it the Large Advanced Passive PWR Nuclear Power Plant (LPP or APWR). This development with SNERDI opens the possibility of China itself exporting the new larger units with Westinghouse's cooperation.

In December 2009, the State Nuclear Plant Demonstration Company – a 55-45% joint venture company by SNPTC and China Huaneng Group – was set up to build and operate an initial demonstration unit of the larger 2-loop design, the CAP1400, at Huaneng's Shidaowan site. The new company signed a set of agreements with SNERDI and the State Nuclear Power Engineering Company (SNPEC) in November 2010 to proceed with the project, as site works were completed. Basic design of the 4040 MWt (c1520 MWe) reactor was completed in 2012, the specification of major equipment is done and some major components were ordered by end of 2012. It will have 193 fuel assemblies and improved steam generators. Dongfang Electric is to design and build the turbine generator under contract to SNPTC. The Environment Impact Assessment Report (EIAR), the Site Safety Assessment Report (SSAR) and construction application were submitted to Ministry of Environment Protection and NNSA in March 2012. Construction is scheduled to start in April 2014, and SNPTC hoped to have the first unit operating by the end of 2018. Westinghouse is providing technical consulting services to SNPTC for the design.

CNNC and SNPTC have talked of export potential from late 2013, and SNPTC said that “exploration of the global market” for the CAP1400 will start in 2013, particularly in South America and Asia.

Building a demonstration unit at Shidaowan was the plan at least until sometime in 2012. However some more recent unconfirmed reports suggest that the first reactor may be built at Fuqing, in Fujian province, with construction to start about the end of 2013.

CAP1400 may be followed by a larger, 3-loop CAP1700 design if the passive cooling system can be scaled to that level. Agreements with Westinghouse stipulate that SNPTC will own the intellectual property rights for any derivatives over 1350 MWe. SNPEC is doing the engineering under a team from 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 (ACP 300, ACP600, ACP1000)

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. This is developed from the 2-loop Qinshan CNP-300 unit (scaled up to the two-loop CNP-600 units, also at Qinshan), 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 full 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, 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. CNNC is also developing the design to the ACP600 which it calls a third-generation design and expects to be able to built on Hainan or in the northwest Gansu province about 2013 and exported.It will have double containment, 18-24 month refueling cycle, digital I&C, and 60-year plant life.

In October 2011 CNNC announced that its independently-developed ACP1000 was entering the engineering design stage, initially for Fuqing units 5 & 6, with 1100 MWe nominal power and load-following capability. It has 177 fuel assemblies 3.66 m long, 18-month refuelling interval, and a 60-year design life. It has three coolant loops delivering 3060 MWt, double containment and active safety systems with some passive elements. Average burnup 45,000 MWd/tU. Seismic shutdown is at 300 gal. In May 2013 CNNC said it has finished a preliminary safety analysis report, and it is now working on construction design in order to be ready for construction by the end of the year. CNNC expects to build the first in 2014, at Fuqing, with 85% local content, and in April 2013 announced an export agreement for an ACP1000, apparently for Pakistan. CNNC asserts full intellectual property rights for the CNP series of reactors, which have evolved to the ACP series.

Two new 300 MWe CNP-300 PWR units are being built at Chasma in Pakistan by the China Zhongyuan Engineering Corporation. They are similar to those already commissioned in 2000 and 2011, and similar to Qinshan 1 – China's first indigenously-designed (by SNERDI) nuclear power plant.

CNNC was seeking to sell the CNP-300 to Belarus and in Africa, and these will probably now become ACP300. 

ACP100 Small modular PWR

CNNC has designed a multi-purpose small modular reactor, the ACP100. This is based on the larger ACP (and CNP) units, has passive safety features and will be installed underground. It has 57 fuel assemblies 2.15m tall and integral steam generators, so that the whole steam supply system is produced and shipped a single reactor module. Its 310 MWt produces about 100 MWe, and power plants comprising up to eight of thee are envisaged, with 60-year design life and 24-month refueling. Or each module can supply 1000 GJ/hr, giving 120,000 m3/day desalination (with MED).

CNNC New Energy Corporation, a joint venture of CNNC (51%) and China Guodian Corp, is planning to build two of these at Zhangzhou city, Putian county, at the south of Fujian province, near Xiamen, as a demonstration plant. This will be the CNY 5 billion ($788 million) phase 1 of a larger project. CNNC said that the units could provide electricity, heat and desalination. Construction time is expected to be 36-40 months, starting 2015. It involves a joint venture of three companies for the pilot plant: CNNC as owner and operator, the Nuclear Power Institute of China as the reactor designer and China Nuclear Engineering Group being responsible for plant construction. 

CPR-1000, ACPR1000

The CPR-1000 is a significantly upgraded version of the 900 MWe-class French M310 three-loop technology imported for the Daya Bay nuclear power plant in the 1980s and also built at Ling Ao. Known as the 'improved Chinese PWR' and designated Generation II+, it features digital instrumentation and control and a design life of 60 years. Its 157 fuel assemblies (4.3 m long) have calculated core melt frequency of 1x10-5 and a release probability an order of magnitude lower than this.

Standard construction time is 52 months, and the claimed unit cost was under CNY 10,000 (US$ 1600) per kilowatt, though 2013 estimates put it at about $2300/kW domestically. With a capacity of 1080 MWe gross (1037 MWe net), Ling Ao Phase II is the first plant to be designated as the CPR-1000 design. The CPR-1000 was being widely and quickly deployed for domestic use, with 57 likely to be built, as of end of 2010. Following the Fukushima accident, numbers may be lower, and no further approvals are now likely.

China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) led the development of the CPR-1000 and established a nearly complete domestic supply chain. However, Areva retains intellectual property rights, which constrains overseas sales since the Chinese would need agreement from Areva on a case-by-case basis.

CGN refers to later units as CPR-1000+, incorporating design improvements which bring it close to Generation III standard. The first of these are Yangjiang 3 & 4, with some design modifications, followed by units 5 & 6 which are more fully transitional to ACPR1000.

Of more significance is its evolution to the Advanced CPR – ACPR1000 with full Chinese intellectual property rights, launched by CGNPC in November 2011 with some fanfare regarding its safety attributes, which comply with international requirements. CGN has been in cooperation with Dongfang Electric, Shanghai Electric, Harbin Electric, China First Heavy Industries, China Erzhong and other companies since 2009 to develop the ACPR-1000, a 3-loop unit with double containment and core-catcher. CGN expected to make it available for local build on schedule from 2013 with the first at Yangjiang, units 5 & 6, followed by Hongyanhe 5 & 6 and Lufeng 1 & 2. However, in September 2012 Fangchenggang 3 & 4 was identified as the demonstration project, with construction start at the end of 2014. This was to be the reference plant for CGN’s bid to build the Sinop plant in Turkey. Overnight construction cost is expected to be $2500/kW.

A further development, ACPR1000+, is envisaged for export, from 2014. It will have 60-year life and 300 gal seismic capability. 

In January 2012, CGN with Areva and EdF agreed on a partnership to develop a Generation III reactor based on the CPR-1000. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, already designing the similar-size Atmea1 with Areva, says it will not be involved.

Hongyanhe, LHNP

This is the first nuclear power station receiving central government approval to build four units at the same time, and the first in northeast China. Construction of the first unit of the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant in Dalian, Liaoning, started in August 2007. It is the first nuclear power project in the 11th Five-Year Plan, with owner and operator being Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co, a joint venture of CGN and CPI (45% each) with Dalian Construction Investment Group. The National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) issued a construction licence for units 3&4 in March 2009, and first concrete for unit 3 was poured soon afterwards. CGN will be responsible for the project construction and the operation of the first five years after commercial operation, with full participation of CPI. 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 CGN, is managing the project. Shanghai Electric won a $260 million contract for equipment and Alstom providing the four low-speed Arabelle turbine-generator sets for $184 million. Localisation is above 70% for units 1&2 and over 80% for units 3&4. First power from unit 1 was expected in July 2012, but after delays over 2011 it started up in January 2013 and was grid connected in February, with commercial operation in June.  The project incorporates a 10,080 m3/day seawater desalination plant to provide cooling water.

In May 2010, the NRDC approved preliminary work on the CNY 25 billion two-unit second phase of the plant (units 5&6), and site work began in July. The National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) and the Environment Ministry approved the project in September 2010, construction start was expected 2011 but now appears likely in 2013. Localisation is to be above 80% and the first unit was expected on line in 2016.

Ningde, NDNP

Construction of CGN'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. Ningde Nuclear Power Co Ltd (NDNP) was set up in 2006 as a joint investment of CGN (46%), China Datang Corporation (44%) and Fujian Energy Group Co., Ltd. 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. It marks a significant step into nuclear power for Datang.

Construction of the first unit started in February 2008, and it was grid connected in December 2012 after 58 months. It was declared in commercial operation in April 2013, with the others due to follow to 2015. First concrete for the second unit was in November 2008, for the third early in January 2010 and for the fourth at the end of September 2010. Total cost for four units was put at CNY 51 billion ($7.2 billion). Dongfang Electric has a contract to supply turbine generators for units 1-4, using Alstom Arabelle low-speed technology. The pressure vessel and steam generators for unit 1 are from Dongfang (DFHM), those for unit 2 are from Shanghai Electric (SEC), those for units 3 & 4 from China First (CFHI). No dates yet known for units 5 & 6.


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 CGN's CPR-1000 reactors since alternatives are not licensed. First concrete for unit 1 was poured in November 2008, for unit 2 in June 2009, and for unit 3 in December 2010. Commercial operation is expected over 2013 to 2016. Site works are under way for further units there, total expected cost for all six being CNY 100 billion ($14.6 billion). Construction of unit 4 started in September or October 2012, almost immediately after NNSA authorization. CNNC said in early 2013 that CAP1400 units would be built there.

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 Alstom Arabelle low-speed steam turbine generators for the Fuqing and Fangjiashan plants. Late in 2010, CNNC was proposing the CNP1000 for units 5 & 6, noting "pre-project under way". 

Regarding units 5 & 6, in October 2011 CNNC said that these would be the first ACP1000 units, then in early 2013 CNNC was reported as saying that an initial CAP1400 unit would be built at Fuqing (possibly as unit 7), but this is unconfirmed and without SNPTC involvement, seems unlikely. CNY 26 billion has been quoted as the cost of it.

Yangjiang, YNPS

Yangjiang city in western Guangdong province had originally been earmarked for the country's first 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 China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN). Development of all six units of the Yangjiang plant was approved in 2004, with CPR-1000 later confirmed as technology for it. Local content will be about 75% for units 1&2, 85% for units 3&4 and maybe 90% for 5&6. Construction of the first of two units by CNPEC started in December 2008, for commercial operation in 2013-14. Construction on the first unit of the second pair started in November 2010, then the final two (as the second construction phase) are to follow, with the last being built by 2017. Total cost is put at CNY 70 billion ($10.1 billion). Units 3 & 4 are the first of an improved CPR-1000 design sometimes referred to as CPR-1000+. Construction of unit 4 started in mid November 2012, immediately after NNSA authorization.

Yangjiang 1-6 will be operated under Yangjiang Nuclear Power Co Ltd (YJNPC) management. In July 2010, Hong Kong-based power utility China Light and Power (CLP) agreed to take a 17% stake in Yangjiang – the equivalent of one reactor.  

Fangjiashan/ Wanjianshan

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 Alstom Arabelle low-speed 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 pressure vessel, from Doosan, was installed in September 2011. The reactor is expected to begin operation in March 2014 with unit 2 about one year later. Construction on unit 2 commenced in mid-December 2009. The pressure vessel and steam generators for unit 2 are being made in China. MHI supplied the turbine generators for both units.

Another six units are envisaged for the Sanmen site.


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 is well underway and first concrete was poured in September 2009 for unit 1 and June 2010 for unit 2. The 5000 cubic metre base mat of each was placed in a single pouring of less than 48 hours. The pressure vessel and steam generators for unit 2 are being made in China. MHI supplied the turbine generators for both units. These units are expected to commence operation in May 2014 and March 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.

Haiyang will be a CPI training base for AP1000 staff, along with a set-up at Yantai.


The first two EPRs planned for Taishan in Guangdong province form part of an €8 billion contract signed by Areva and the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) 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 CGN. 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.

Site works are reported to be proceeding for units 3 & 4, and construction is expected to start before 2015.

Shandong Shidaowan HTR-PM 

A demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant, with twin reactor modules driving a single 210 MWe steam turbine, was initially approved in November 2005, to be built at Shidaowan (Shidao Bay) in Weihai city, Shandong province, by Huaneng Shidaowan Nuclear Power Company Ltd (HSNPC). It will be part of the Rongcheng Nuclear Power Industrial Park project. The HSNPC joint venture is led by the China Huaneng Group Co – the country's largest generating utility but hitherto without nuclear capacity, and still without NNSA authority to build nuclear plants itself. Huaneng Power International is investing CNY 5 billion in the project, which received environmental clearance in March 2008. An important 20% stake in the project is held by Tsinghua University INET, reflecting its innovative technology. With site work complete, following NDRC approval construction started in mid 2011. Commercial operation is expected in 2017. (information on CGNPC and Tsinghua web sites) NB though involving twin reactors this is shown as a single reactor unit in WNA Tables.

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. In November 2010 Huaneng Group signed an agreement with US-based Duke Energy to train nuclear plant staff.

After three years of negotiation, in March 2011 a contract was signed with SGL Group in Germany for supply of 500,000 machined graphite spheres for HTR-PM fuel by the end of 2013. A new HTR fuel production plant is being set up at Baotou.

This will be the demonstration plant for a further 18 modules at the site, total 3,800 MWe.

Shidaowan (PWRs)

In November 2007, China Huaneng Group (CHNG) signed an agreement with CGN 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 then became another AP1000 project and National Development and Reform Commission approval was 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. Thus none of the authorised nuclear utilities is now involved, though Huaneng is linked with SNPTC on the project through the State Nuclear Demonstration Company – a 55-45% joint venture company by SNPTC and CHNG in respect to building the first CAP1400 units two being envisaged possibly after the four AP1000s.


The Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Project is located at Hongsha village, in the Beibu Gulf (Beibu Wan) Economic Zone near Bailong in the coastal city of Fangchenggang in the Guangxi Autonomous Region (45 km from the Vietnam border in south China). It is sometimes referred to as ‘Western 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. First concrete for unit 1 was poured in July 2010, and about 87% of the first two units will be sourced in China. First concrete for unit 2 was in 2011.

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, the second in 2016. Total budget is CNY 70 billion ($10.26 billion), with CNY 26 billion ($3.87 billion) for stage 1. In December 2011 it was reported that Guangxi was accelerating construction to relieve power shortage, and allow for exports to Vietnam. (There is also a Fangchenggang 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, and the project was expected to cost $3.8 billion. Protracted discussion on pricing for the Russian components of the plant delayed the project. Eventually, a contract for the engineering design of two further Tianwan units was signed in September 2010 between Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation and Atomstroyexport, and the general contract was signed in November 2010 and came into force in August 2011 with protocol signed by China Atomic Energy Authority and Rosatom. An intergovernmental protocol was signed in December 2012, with first concrete promised that month.Atomstroyexport will provide 30% of the VVER units for €1.3 billion, including nuclear island equipment (reactor, steam generator, pressurisers, primary piping. etc.) and some related equipment. It will not act as the principal contractor, though it insists on retaining intellectual property rights. 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. Final approval from NDRC was received in January 2011, the EPC contract with CNNC's CNEC was signed in October 2011 and a civil engineering contract was let to China Nuclear Industry Huaxing Construction Company (HXCC) in May 2012, and to China Nuclear Industry 23 Construction Co for component installation in July. Both are China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Group (CNEC) subsidiaries. The turbine generator sets will probably be sourced from Dongfang Electric, using Alstom Arabelle low-speed technology. Areva I&C systems will be used. The EPC contract with CNNC's CNEC was signed in October 2011 and first concrete for unit 3 was poured in December 2012. That for unit 2 is expected in August 2013. Commercial operation is due in 2018 and 2019.

Due to urgency in meeting power demands, it appeared likely that units 5 & 6 (phase III) might be built ahead of 3 & 4, as CPR-1000 units, based on those at Fangjiashan. CNNC reported an EPC contract between Jiangsu and CNPE in February 2011, making CNPE the project manager. In August 2009 the Assets Supervision & Administration Commission announced that units 5 & 6 of Tianwan would start construction in October 2010, but this did not happen. Dongfang Electric has a contract to supply turbine generators using Alstom Arabelle low-speed technology. However, in December 2012 Russian sources reported discussions with CNNC regarding phases III & IV of Tianwan (units 5-8), using VVER technology.

Meanwhile, Iskorskiye Zavody, part of OMZ, has started making the major components covered by the Russian €1.3 billion part of the phase II plant. It will manufacture two VVER-1000 reactor pressure vessels with internals and upper units. Delivery should be completed in 2014. The company already took part in making the major equipment for Tianwan 1 & 2, including reactor pressure vessels. 

Hongshiding (Rushan)

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 now likely to be ACP1000, totaling 6600 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 at the end of 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 20 billion ($2.8 billion). Units 3 & 4 will be built as the second phase of construction. Huaneng Power International (HPI), part of China Huaneng Group (CHNG), holds a 30% share in Hainan Nuclear Power Co Ltd. More than 70% of the plant's 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 (referred to as Chinese Demonstration Fast 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 was due to start in 2013, once an intergovernmental agreement is in place, expected in 2012. The local content is targeted at 70%, and the first unit is to be in operation in 2018, and the second following about a year later. 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 in Russia at Beloyarsk 4 and due to start up in 2012.

Xudabao/ Xudapu

CNNC's Xudabao or Xudapu nuclear power station is in Xingcheng City, Huludao (Hulu island), in coastal Liaoning province. The CNY 90 billion (US$15 billion) Xudabao project will comprise six CAP1000 reactors, with units 1&2 in the US$4 billion first phase. Site preparation was under way in November 2010, and final NDRC approval in January 2011 will allow construction start in September 2011. CNNC's Liaoning Nuclear Power Company Ltd owns the plant, with Datang International Power Generation Co holding 20% equity, and State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC) 10%. The general contractor is China Nuclear Power Engineering Company Ltd (CNPE), and negotiations for an EPC contract for units 1 & 2 were taking place in December 2011. In October 2010, the Northeast Electric Power Design Institute (NEPDI), Changchun, Jilin, a subsidiary of China Power Engineering Consulting Corporation (CPECC), signed a survey and engineering contract for the plant. When Taohuajiang plant was deferred, the main reactor parts were transferred to Xudabao.


CGN's Lianyungang nuclear power project is planned to have four units of 1000 MWe class to be constructed in phases. This is in Xinxu town, Lianyun district, Lianyungang city, 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.


CGN's Lufeng Nuclear Power Corporation is making efforts to start on the first two units (of 6) of the Lufeng (Shanwei) plant in the  Tianwei district in eastern Guangdong, but awaits NDRC approval. It will be a CNPEC project. It is in the 12th 5-year plan, so construction start by 2015 is likely. The AP1000 plant equipment manufactured for Xianning is being deployed there, and it will be CGN's first AP1000 plant.


China Guodian's first nuclear power venture, with CNNC holding 51% of CNNC New Energy Corporation, will initially have two small modular reactors, possibly a new ACP100 design, on the coast in Fujian province, near Xiamen, as a demonstration plant. CNNC says they will be integral PWRs, with passive cooling. This will be the CNY 5 billion ($788 million) phase 1 of a larger project. CNNC said that the units could provide electricity, heat and desalination. Construction time is expected to be 36-40 months, starting 2015. It involves a joint venture of three companies for the pilot plant: CNNC as owner and operator, the Nuclear Power Institute of China as the reactor designer and China Nuclear Engineering Group being responsible for plant construction. 

The larger project will be undertaken by Nuclear Guodian Zhangzhou Energy Co. Ltd., and will comprise four AP1000 reactors as phase I and two more as phase II. The company was established in November 2011, by CNNC or China Nuclear Power International Inc (51%) and China Guodian Corporation (49%). The proposal was submitted to NDRC in August 2010. 


CNNC New Energy Corp, a joint venture of CNNC (51%) and Guodian Corp, has also signed a preliminary agreement for small modular reactors with Ganzhou city in Jiangxi province.


This is to be developed in Shanghai's Songjiang district by CGN with China GD Power Development Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Guodian, and in connection with a framework cooperation agreement with the State Grid Corporation of China. It is not expected to be approved before about 2020.

Inland nuclear power plants

It appears that these will all be delayed significantly from the dates planned before mid 2011, on account of concerns regarding possible pollution of rivers. Taohuajiang, Xianning and Pengze are all in the 12th five-year plan to start construction, but the premiere's announcement in October 2012 deferred approvals for inland plants until after 2015.


CNNC's Taohuajiang nuclear power plant on the Zi River in Taojiang county,Yiyang city, near Yueyang in inland Hunan province will be China's first inland nuclear power plant. It was expected to start construction in September 2010, and some CNY 3 billion of site works are complete, but construction may be delayed to 2015. (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 is now to be a four-unit CAP1000 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 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. Subsequent towers will have increasing local content.

The project was approved by the NDRC in November 2005, and in 2008 the project was approved for preliminary construction. Site works have been undertaken to the extent of CNY 3.8 billion. The design by SNERDI under SNPTC and SNPDRI was submitted to the NNSA in February 2010 for licensing. A general framework agreement for construction was signed by CNNC with CNPE Corporation as EPC contractor in December 2010. The first unit was originally expected in commercial operation in April 2015, and the fourth in 2018. However, after all the inland projects were deferred the reactor components were transferred to Xudapu/Xudabao, and the site workforce was laid off.


In August 2008, CGN 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 at Dafan in Xianning city of the inland Hubei province. Site works for this plant (four AP1000 units) have been undertaken to the extent of CNY 3.4 billion. Construction of the first two units was expected to start in 2011, but may be delayed to 2015. The reactor pressure vessel for the first unit is contracted to China First Heavy Industries, and the first two 209 metre high cooling towers to Belgium's Hamon Thermal. The cost of four AP1000 reactors is put at CNY 60 billion ($8.8 billion). This would have been CGN's first AP1000 plant, but the equipment has been reassigned to Lufeng. A further phase is estimated to cost CNY 45 billion.

The large pre-assembled modules that will make up the bulk of the new AP1000s are to come from a new inland facility owned by new firm Hubei Nuclear Power Equipment Company.

Reports of a Songzi plant may refer to later stages of Dafan, though possible projects in Yangxin county have been mentioned.

The Hubei Nuclear Power Co is also reported to be planning a four-unit AP1000 plant at Guangshui city in the northeast of the province.


CPI's 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 Co Ltd and CPIC. The equipment procurement was reported to be between CPIC and China Power Complete Equipment. CPI aimed to start construction in 2010, for 2013 start-up, but construction has been delayed, evidently to 2015. Site works amount to CNY 3.4 billion.

The project is inland in Juijiang city, across the Yangtze River from Wangjiang in Anhui province. The cooling towers are being designed by Belgium's Hamon Thermal for the State Nuclear Electric Power Planning Design and Research Institute (SNPDRI). The project has been opposed by Wangjiang in neighbouring Anhui province, which has plans for several nuclear plants iteself, including Wuhu (Fanchang) and Jiyang (Chizhou), with Anqing Congyang and Xuancheng along the Yangtze River also mentioned.  


The Xiaomoshan nuclear power plant on the Yangtze River in Huarong county, Yueyang city, 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-2010 NNSA approval was awaited. Site preparation has been undertaken and first concrete was expected late in 2010. The cost is put at CNY 70 billion ($10.25 billion) for the first four units, funded by SNPTC and Wuling Electric Power Development Co. (a CPI subsidiary). The Heimifeng pumped storage plant will be associated with it.


In August 2009, CNNC (51%) signed a joint venture agreement with Jiangxi Ganneng Co. Ltd and Jiangxi Ganyue Expressway Co Ltd (49% between them) setting up Jiangxi Nuclear Power Co to build the Wanan Yanjiashan nuclear power project at Ji'an in the Jiangxi province. CNNC contracted a feasibility study of Yanjiashan nuclear power program in July 2010. Pre-project work was reported as under way in November 2010. (This is also reported as a CPI project.)


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.


CNNC's Hubei Zhongxiang nuclear power project is at Zhongxiang city in central Hubei, with China Datang. The 5000 MWe plant is undergoing a detailed feasibility study, but further details are unknown.


China Huadian plans the Haixing nuclear plant with up to six AP1000 reactors in Cangzhou city, Hubei province. Site selection is focused on Xiaoshan and Bianzhuang. A CNY 100 billion investment is envisaged.


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. CGN's proposal for two units of phase 1 has been submitted, some preparatory work has been undertaken and the Anhui Wuhu Nuclear Power Co has been set up, with 51% CGN ownership. The environmental impact statement was released for public comment in January 2010. 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.

Nanchun/Nanchong/Sanba, Yibin

In 2005, Sichuan proposed Nanchun/ Nanchong city east of Chengdu as a suitable site for a nuclear power plant and sought approval for it from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which was not given, possibly because of seismic concerns. In March 2009, the provincial government signed an agreement with CGN to pursue the plan for a Nanchun nuclear power plant, involving the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC), headquartered in Chendu. Preliminary plans in 2008 were for a 4000-6000 MWe Sanba nuclear power plant on the Jialing River, at a cost of CNY 25 billion ($3.7 billion). Majority ownership would be CGN.

Another Sichuan agreement for a nuclear power plant project has been signed between CNNC and Yibin city, south of Chengdu. 


CGN's Shaoguan nuclear plant will comprise four AP1000 reactors and is expected to cost RMB 50 billion. It will be located in Baitu Town of Qujiang District in Shaoguan City, and will be the first inland nuclear power project in Guangdong. The Shaoguan Nuclear Power Co was established in April 2010. 


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 was expected in September 2010. This will apparently be the fourth nuclear project for China Huadian.

Longyou/ Zhexi

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. Pre-project work was reported as under way in November 2010.


CPI plans to spend CNY 85 billion to build the 6-unit Jingyu or Chisong nuclear power plant in Jingyu county near Baishan, in southern Jilin province, with four AP1000 units to be in stage 1. The project is still in the preliminary feasibility stage, though site preparation is under way. Construction start was scheduled for 2012.

Jiutai, Liangjiashan

These two nuclear power plants planned for northern Jilin province close to Changchun, are to be developed by CGN with China GD Power Development Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Guodian, and in connection with a framework cooperation agreement with the State Grid Corporation of China. They are not expected to be approved before about 2020.


To be a six-unit CNNC plant in Henan province. Pre-project work was reported as under way in November 2010.

Order your paper now!

I need
My email
By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related emails.