Fuel Loaded into 4th Reactor at Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant in China

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The process of loading fuel into the fourth reactor of the second phase of development at the Qinshan nuclear power plant in China’s Zhejiang province has been completed.

China National Nuclear Corporation announced that, following an operation lasting 45 consecutive hours, the final fuel assembly was loaded into the CNP-600 design pressurized water reactor (PWR) at 5.42am on 23 October. The next stage in the unit’s commissioning will be for it to achieve first criticality – a self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction. The 610 MWe reactor is expected to begin commercial operation in 2012, when it is set to become China’s 15th operating power reactor.

Qinshan Phase II is already home to three operating CNP-600s, an indigenous reactor design built with a high degree of localisation. Units 1 and 2, comprising the first stage of Phase II, began operating in 2002 and 2004, respectively. Construction of the second stage was formally inaugurated at the end of April 2006, although first concrete had been poured for unit 3 the previous month. First concrete for unit 4 was poured in February 2007. Unit 3 entered commercial operation in October 2010.

The Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant is a multi-unit nuclear plant under construction in Qinshan TownHaiyan CountyZhejiang, the People’s Republic of China. When completed, it may hold the record for the most nuclear reactors on one site; however, since the majority of the units are mid-size, it may be surpassed by other plants in terms of generating capacity. The construction of the units is divided into 5 separate stages.

Unit Type Status Net MW Gross MW First Output
Qinshan 1 PWR Operational 288 310 15 Dec 1991
Qinshan 2-1 PWR Operational 610 650 06 Feb 2002
Qinshan 2-2 PWR Operational 610 650 11 Mar 2004
Qinshan 2-3 PWR Operational 610 650 01 Aug 2010 [3]
Qinshan 2-4 PWR Under construction 610 650 Due 2012
Qinshan 3-1 PHWR Operational 650 728 19 Nov 2002
Qinshan 3-2 PHWR Operational 650 728 12 Jun 2003
Qinshan IV-1 PHWR Under construction 700 ––
Qinshan IV-2 PHWR Under construction 700 ––
Qinshan V-1 PHWR Under construction 700 ––
Qinshan V-2

5 Stages for Completion

Stage I involved construction of the small-scale (~300 MW) Unit-1 only, but was the first domestically designed and constructed nuclear power plant in the nation (95 percent of components came from domestic manufactures).  That unit has so far operated for more than 10 years without an event rating 2 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

Stage II the next set of reactors were mid-scale plants (~600 MW) but still of Chinese design (CNP-600). The steam generators were made by Babcock & Wilcox of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

Stage III involved construction of two 728MW CANDU-6 series of the CANDU reactor design supplied by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. This was reported to be the largest business venture between Canada and China to that time. In 2001, it was visited by the Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien; both units were online by 2003.[2]

Stage IV

Stage V

LOCATION: Haiyan County, Zhejiang

QINSHAN PHASE 1

GENERAL MANAGER: Lin Deshun

Operated by the Qinshan Nuclear Power Company, Qinshan Phase 1 is China’s first indigenously designed and constructed nuclear power plant.  It was constructed using 95 percent domestic and 5 percent imported components and systems.  Qinshan’s 300 MWe pressurized water reactor (PWR) with three (3) radiation shields (zirconium cladding, pressure vessel, and containment) was first connected to the grid on 15 December 1991 and entered into commercial operation in April 1994. On 13 July 1995, the Qinshan nuclear power station was certified by the Chinese government and officially placed into operation.  During its first year of operation, Qinshan produced 1.74 billion kWh of electricity at an annual load factor of 66 percent.

In January 1998 operators “had difficulties withdrawing the thimble device from a particular channel.”  But, since operation was just within operational limits it was decided to continue operation until a scheduled shut down in July 1998.  At that time, inspections revealed that the in-core neutron flux measuring device was damaged.  After redesigning and replacing the damaged parts, the reactor went back into commercial operation on 25 September 1999. However, the plant was shut down again in April 2000 for ten days due to a leak in the soldering of the cooling system.  The leak was not accompanied by a radiation leak.

In August 2000, Gu Peilong, an official with the Zhejiang Environmental Monitoring Station announced that regular environmental monitoring reports will be issued in a local newspaper.  Future releases will most likely be on an annual basis, according to Gu.  Data on radiation levels is collected through five monitors erected within 2.5 kilometers of the nuclear plant.  Monitoring will be conducted 24 hours a day.

During the ten years of operation, Qinshan has reported five refueling operations without a Level II incident or higher (IAEA Standards), and has reported no incidents of “over-standard” radiation leaks to the surrounding environment. Furthermore, during this same period Qinshan has contributed 16.78 billion kWh of electricity to the power grid and produced 4.88 billion yuan in sales.

QINSHAN PHASE 2

GENERAL MANAGER: Li Yongjiang

Operated by the Nuclear Power Qinshan JV Corporation, Ltd., Qinshan Phase 2 currently consists of two Chinese 600 MWe PWRs.  Construction began on Unit 1 on 1 June 1996 while construction for Unit 2 began on 23 March 1997.  Qinshan Nuclear Power Station received a nuclear evaporator on 16 June 2000.  The evaporator was built by the Shanghai Boiler Factory in conjunction with Westinghouse Corporation.  The evaporator weighs 344 tons and its height is 20.8 meters.  Unit 1 went into commercial operation on 4 April 2004.  Unit 2 began trial operation on 11 March 2004 and is scheduled to go into commercial operation during June 2004.  Another two generating units are still to be constructed.  Upon completion of the four units, it is anticipated that the second-phase project of Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant will generate 16 billion kwh of electricity per year.

[“Chinese Manufacturer Finishes Key Device for Nuclear Power Station,” Xinhua via  FBIS, CPP20000616000143, 16 June 2000.; “PRC Opens 2nd Nuclear Power Plant in Zhejiang,” Xinhua via FBIS, CPP2004031000024810 March 2004.]

QINSHAN PHASE 3

GENERAL MANAGER: Kang Rixing

Operated by the Qinshan Third Nuclear Power Company, Qinshan Phase 3 consists of two Canadian 728 MWe Candu-6 PHWR.  Qinshan 3 is reportedly the first CANDU-6 project to use open-top reactor building construction and the first in which commercial operation began earlier than the projected date.  Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is the general contractor for the US$ 2.9 billion Qinshan 3 project, which is reportedly the largest business venture between Canada and China.

At the end of 1999, 110 Canadians were on site, accompanied by 230 local managers. Construction on Unit 1 began on 8 June 1998 while construction on Unit 2 began on 25 September 1998.  As of February 2000 piping and equipment installation had begun.  Unit 1 began transmitting electricity to power grids on 19 November 2002, marking the official start of China’s first commercialized heavy water nuclear power station.  Unit 2 reached first criticality on 29 April 2003, a reported 52 days ahead of schedule.  Unit 4 began commercial operation on 31 December 2002 and Unit 5 began on 24 July 2003.

On 27 March 2004, the first bundle of domestically produced fuel-rods was loaded into the Unit 1, marking a shift toward domestically produced nuclear fuel.  These fuel-rods were produced by China National Nuclear Corporation’s Baotou Nuclear Fuel Component Plant.

 

QINSHAN Coordinates: 30°27″0′ N 120°56″0′ E
Connected plants
Name: QINSHAN-1
Type PWR
Power Thermal 279 MWh
Last known 279 MWh
Dates Operating 15 Dec 91
Commercial 01 Apr 94
Shutdown 01 Apr 34
Operating years 11
Name: QINSHAN-2 A
Type PWR
Power Thermal 600 MWh
Last known 600 MWh
Dates Operating 06 Feb 02
Commercial 17 Apr 02
Shutdown 01 Jan 70
Operating years 0
Under Construction plants
Name: QINSHAN-2 B
Type PWR
Power Thermal 600 MWh
Last known 0 MWh
Dates Operating 01 Jan 70
Commercial 15 Dec 03
Shutdown 01 Jan 70
Operating years 0
Name: QINSHAN-3 A
Type PHWR
Power Thermal 728 MWh
Last known 0 MWh
Dates Operating 01 Jan 70
Commercial 15 Jun 03
Shutdown 01 Jan 70
Operating years 0
Name: QINSHAN-3 B
Type PHWR
Power Thermal 728 MWh
Last known 0 MWh
Dates Operating 01 Jan 70
Commercial 15 Sep 04
Shutdown 01 Jan 70
Operating years 0
Firmly Planned plants
Name: QINSHAN IV-1
Type PHWR
Power Thermal 700 MWh
Last known 0 MWh
Dates Operating 01 Jan 70
Commercial 15 Jun 13
Shutdown 01 Jan 70
Operating years 0
Name: QINSHAN IV-2
Type PHWR
Power Thermal 700 MWh
Last known 0 MWh
Dates Operating 01 Jan 70
Commercial 15 Jun 14
Shutdown 01 Jan 70
Operating years 0
Name: QINSHAN V-1
Type PHWR
Power Thermal 700 MWh
Last known 0 MWh
Dates Operating 01 Jan 70
Commercial 15 Jun 14
Shutdown 01 Jan 70
Operating years 0
Name: QINSHAN V-2
Type PHWR
Power Thermal 700 MWh
Last known 0 MWh
Dates Operating 01 Jan 70
Commercial 15 Jun 14
Shutdown 01 Jan 70
Operating years 0

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