Electricite de France (EDF) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Bernard Levy said that the Taishan Unit 2 reactor had achieved first criticality, the second European Pressurized Reactor to do so.
“The nuclear reaction was authorized and yesterday the Chinese reactor carried out a fission reaction for the first time,” Levy said in an announcement made on Europe 1 radio on Wednesday.
The Taishan 1 reactor reached first criticality last year and was connected to the grid on June 29, 2018. Fuel loading for Unit 2 began in early May.
Taishan is the largest cooperative energy project between China and France. It is operated by TNPJVC, a joint venture established between CGN (51%), EDF (30%) and the provincial Chinese electricity company Yuedian (19%). The construction of Taishan 1 began in 2009, whilst that of Taishan 2 began in 2010. These two units were respectively the third and fourth EPR reactors to have started being built worldwide.
The Taishan project has surpassed two EPR constructions projects in Europe, one in Flamanville, France, and the other in Olkiluoto, Finland. Long delays have plagued both of those projects.
The EPR model features third-generation technology that was developed by EDF and Framatome, formerly AREVA.
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