The Sanmen Unit 2 reactor in the Zhejiang province of China became the third AP1000 reactor to reach commercial operating status this week, achieving the feat on Nov. 5 at 9:47 p.m, according to news sources.
After years of construction delays, Westinghouse-designed AP1000 reactors are churning out startup milestones one after another. Construction of Sanmen 2, for example, began with a the first concrete pouring in December 2009, three months after construction began on Haiyang 1 and several months before construction of Haiyang 2, which was begun in June 2010, according to the World Nuclear Association.
Sanmen 1, meanwhile, was the first to get underway and the first to reach initial criticality, which was achieved in June this year. It was connected to the grid on July 2, reaching full power on August 14 and hitting is stride – reaching commercial operations status – in late September.
Haiyang Unit 1 was close behind, achieving first criticality in early August with grid connection following on August 17. Haiyang 1 reached commercial operations status in late October.
On its heels, Sanmen 2 achieved first criticality on the same day Haiyang 1 was connected to the grid. On August 24, Sanmen 2 was also connected to the grid.
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Watch this space! Westinghouse designed the AP000 for a much quicker delivery period, 5 years was mooted. This 9 year from first concrete pour is a milestone that no other Nuclear Power Plant have ever achieved. It may be safe to predict that future AP1000's will be brought on line within 7 years from first pour. Whether the 5 year mark will be reached is debatable.