Second Chinese EPR Reaches Commercial Status

Electricity de France (EDF) and Famatome, developers of the EPR reactor, triumphed the commercial start of the world’s second online EDF unit, which took place at the Taishan nuclear power plant in China’s Guangdong province on September 7.

Taishan NPPChina General Nuclear, EDF and Famatome collectively announced the milestone, which is a declaration of commercial status with Taishan Unit 2’s completion of 168 hours of continuous operation at full power. It is the final phase of the ascension tests of a nuclear plant that begin with low power and work up towards full power, a process than can take a month or more. Once it his full power, the throttle is held there for a week before commercial status is declared.

Famatome said it was “pleased” with the accomplishment, weighing in as one of the designers of the reactor that has five under construction or completed. Taishan 1 is the other unit online. The Flammanville 3 reactor in France and the Olkiluoto 3 reactor in Finland are both nearing completion, although each of those projects has suffered significant delays and budget expansions. The Hinkley C power plant, which is in very early stages of construction, is the fifth project committed to EPR technology.

Bernard Fontana, CEO of Framatome, said 40 years of cooperation is behind the EPR success in China. “We have together created an exemplary model of cooperation, in this case as a designer with EDF for the Taishan EPR.”

Taishan 2’s commercial status came nine months after Taishan 1 reached the same plateau. Each of the Taishan reactors are 1750 MW EPR models. They are expected to supply 24 TWh of electricity each year for Chinese customers. Framatome said the plant is capable of satisfying the electricity demand of 5 million Chinese households.

The Taishan project is led by TNPJVC, which is a joint venture comprised of CGN, which owns 51 percent, EDF (30 percent) and Chinese utility Guangdong Energy Group (19 percent). 

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