China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) and French industrial EDF Group announced they had connected the Taishan Unit 1 reactor to the grid, marking a first for the EPR design. The feat was accomplished on June 29, the companies said.
CGN Chie Executive Officer Zheng Dongshan said it was "a major step forward in China." He also said that the development had significant importance for Europe, given the technology will be used for new reactors in Britain that will include CGN backing.
The EPR design is also under construction at Flamanville in France and at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Finland. The design is also slated for construction with the Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C reactors in Britain.
"The fact that an EPR power station has been linked to the electricity network for the first time reinforces our strong confidence in this reactor technology and in the [Hinkley Point C] project as a whole," Nuclear Engineering International quoted the CEO as saying.
Bernard Fontana, CEO of Framatome, a unit of Areva that had significant input in the design, said Taishan 1 was made possible by "fruitful cooperation," from Framatome and CGN.
Construction of Taishan 1 began after contracts were signed in November 2007 with the first concrete pours in 2009 for Taishan 1 and 2010 for Taishan 2, both EPR models. Taishan 1 reached first criticality on June 6.
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Great achievement! It would be interesting to see the capacity factors after the first "rehearsal" cycle and hear sime lessons learned from the project for sure.