The world’s second European Pressurized Reactor (EPR), also called the Evolutionary Power Reactor, has been connected to the grid in China, the project owners announced on Friday.
Construction on Taishan Unit 2 began in 2010. It was the fourth EPR unit construction start, following Flamanville Unit 3 in France, Olkiluoto Unit 3 in Finland and Taishan Unit 1, which entered commercial operating status last year and where construction began in 2009. The two Chinese projects, 30 percent of which is owned by French utility EDF, surpassed the two European construction projects, which have suffered from extensive delays. The Olkiluoto 3 project is to have fuel loaded for this first time in the coming months. The Flamanville 3 project was, until recently, also expected to have fuel loaded this year. However, the schedule has been knocked back to a projected 2022 start up due to the need to repair primary circuit welds.
Taishan Unit 1 reached first criticality on 6 June last year according to the World Nuclear Association. It was connected to the grid on 29 June last year and was declared commercially viable in December. Unit 2 at Taishan attained its first criticality on 28 May of this year. Fuel loading had begun in early May.
Units are expected to run for 168 hours before being declared commercial.
The EPR model was designed by Areva, which is now named Framatome and 75 percent owned by EDF. The primary owner of the Taishan project in the Guangdong province is China General Nuclear Power Corporation, which controls 70 percent of the Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited, the joint venture that includes minority owner EDF.
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