Unit 3 of the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China's Jiangsu province was connected to the grid on 30 December. The Russian-supplied VVER-1000 is scheduled to enter commercial operation later this year.
Tianwan unit 3 (Image: CNNC)
Tianwan 3 and 4 are AES-91 VVER-1000 units designed by Gidropress and supplied by Russian state nuclear company Rosatom. AtomStroyExport is the main contractor, supplying the nuclear island. First concrete for unit 3 was poured in December 2012, while construction of unit 4 began in September 2013. Two similar VVER-1000 reactors (units 1 and 2) began operating at the site in 2007.
The process to load a total of 163 fuel assemblies into the core of Tianwan 3 got under way on 18 August. The start-up process began on 27 September, with the reactor achieving criticality two days later.
Following permission from the Chinese regulator, power at Tianwan 3 was raised to 25% of capacity, after which the turbine was brought into operation and electrical tests of the field and power delivery systems were carried out. This process was completed at 1.29pm on 30 December, Rosatom noted. "Power unit 3 was, thereby, connected to the grid. All systems performed in normal operational mode."
Power output from the reactor will now be maintained at 25%. Dynamic tests will later be performed at 50%, 75% and 100% of capacity. Upon completion of initial testing at full thermal capacity, demonstration operation will proceed at nominal capacity for 100 hours, after which preliminary acceptance procedures will follow. Preliminary acceptance is the starting point of a two-year warranty period for the operation of Tianwan 3. The unit is scheduled to enter commercial operation later this year.
"Construction of the third and fourth power units of the Tianwan nuclear power plant are being implemented in record-breaking time and can be considered examples of excellent international cooperation in the energy field," said Kirill Komarov, Rosatom's first deputy director-general for corporate development and international business."
The State Council gave its approval for the third phase of the Tianwan plant (units 5 and 6) - both featuring Chinese-designed 1080 MWe ACPR1000 reactors - on 16 December 2015. First safety-related concrete was poured for unit 5 later that month and for unit 6 in September 2016. Unit 5 is expected to enter commercial operation in December 2020 and unit 6 in October 2021.
The Tianwan plant is owned and operated by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation, a joint venture between China National Nuclear Corporation (50%), China Power Investment Corporation (30%) and Jiangsu Guoxin Group (20%).
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