Unit 1 of the Yangjiang nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province has entered commercial operation, becoming China's 20th operating reactor.
Yangjiang 1 - the first of six units under construction at the site in China's Guangdong province - began a full-power demonstration phase on 18 March, reports World Nuclear News. China General Nuclear (CGN) announced that this trial run was successfully completed on 25 March at which point it formally started commercial operation.
Yangjiang 1 represents CGN's ninth operating unit and brings the company's installed generating capacity to 9410MWe.
Work on the first reactor at Yangjiang began in December 2008. It achieved first criticality on 23 December 2013 and was connected to the grid on 31 December. The equipment localisation rate at the unit reached 83%, according to CGN.
The first four Yangjiang units are 1080MWe CPR-1000 pressurised water reactors, with units 5 and 6 being ACPR-1000. With unit 1 now in operation, unit 2 is currently preparing to conduct hot tests, aimed at simulating the temperatures and pressures that the reactor's systems will be subjected to during normal operation. This phase ensures coolant circuits and nuclear safety systems are functioning properly before fuel is loaded.
Equipment installation is underway at unit 3, while civil construction works continue at units 4, 5 and 6. All six reactors should be in operation by 2018, producing a total of around 6100MWe.