China powered up Hualong One, its first domestically developed nuclear reactor on Friday as part of its efforts aimed at making Beijing less dependent on Western allies for energy security and critical technology under “Made in China 2025” plan.
Unit 5 of China's Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant, developed by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), was successfully connected to the national grid for the first time on November 27.
It can generate 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year and cut carbon emissions by 8.16 million tons. Nuclear plants supplied less than 5% of China's annual electricity needs in 2019, according to the National Energy Administration. But this share is expected to grow as it attempts to become carbon neutral by 2060.
It is the world's first pilot project to use China's indigenous third-generation nuclear power technology Hualong One, also known as HPR1000.
It was confirmed on site that all technical indicators of the unit met the design requirements and that the unit was in good condition. This laid a solid foundation for the subsequent commercial operation of the unit and for the top performance in the world's first third-generation nuclear power reactor, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said in a statement.
Hualong One is a third-generation pressurized water reactor with completely independent intellectual property rights, developed and designed by CNNC on the basis of more than 30 years of nuclear power research, design, manufacturing, construction and operation experience. It has a design life of 60 years and uses 177 fuel assemblies as reactor cores, which reduces its core power density and improves its design safety level.
At present, CNNC has six nuclear power units under construction at home and abroad using Hualong One technology, and the safety and quality of the construction projects are all under tight control. The Hualong One will be put into commercial use by the end of the year after undergoing tests.