23 Mar (NucNet): The Hongyanhe-3 nuclear reactor unit in Liaoning province, northeastern China, has been connected to the grid, beginning full-power, regular operation and bringing the number of online units in the country to 25, official news agency Xinhua reported today.
The Chinese-designed Generation II CPR-1000 pressurised water reactor (PWR) unit reached first criticality on 27 October 2014.
Xinhua said construction of the first phase of the Hongyanhe project, which features four CPR-1000 units to be built at a cost of about $8 billion (€7.3 billion), began in 2007 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
Xinhua said that when in full operation, the four units will generate 30 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, accounting for around 15 percent of electricity consumption in Liaoning.
Hongyanhe-1 and -2 entered commercial operation in June 2013 and October 2013. Construction of Hongyanhe-3 began in March 2009 and of Hongyanhe-4 in August 2009.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Power Reactor Information System (Pris) database, excluding Hongyanhe-3 China has 16.9 gigawatts of nuclear capacity in operation and 27.756 GW under construction, a total of 44.656 GW (net).
Xinhua reported recently that China plans to expand its nuclear capacity to as much as 58 GW by 2020.