French state-controlled utility EDF said on Wednesday that a first nuclear chain reaction has been carried out at the Taishan European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) in China, signalling an initial startup of the long-delayed project. EDF’s head of new nuclear and engineering Xavier Ursat, said on his official Twitter account that Taishan EPR had had its first chain reaction, and it was a good news for the entire nuclear industry. EDF holds around 30 percent of the project.
Reuters 6th June 2018 read more »
That’s it ! At 16:52 on Wednesday, a first EPR started in the world. It is one of two reactors that EDF is building in Taishan, in southeastern China, with China General Nuclear Power (CGN). A tweet from EDF’s director of engineering and new nuclear projects, Xavier Ursat, unveiled the news, hailing the first chain reaction. There will now be a gradual ramp up, which will be paired with a series of security checks. The connection to the network will be done in a few weeks. This startup is not a surprise. By mid-April, the Chinese nuclear safety authority had authorized the loading of the fuel into the plant. But for EDF, which owns 30% of the joint venture with CGN and has invested 1 billion euros in equity in the project, it is still a huge relief. Given the delays of the Flamanville (Manche) and Olkiluoto (Finland) shipyards, the Taishan EPR is the first “third generation” reactor to start in the world. The first concrete was poured in Taishan in 2009, almost two years after Flamanville and four years after the Finnish. However, despite the feedback from the first two sites, the EPR Taishan still accumulated four years behind the agreement reached in November 2007, suffering in particular defects on French equipment (the vats and lids of Taishan were also forged by Areva). negotiations with the Chinese administration on the purchase price of electricity from Taishan are still ongoing. Beyond that, CGN has always said that it is waiting for the first EPR to come into service, before ordering others. The current setbacks of Westinghouse, placed under the bankruptcy regime in the United States, give the grain to grind to the French. But the Chinese intend above all to be autonomous and to ensure the success of their own third-generation reactor, the Hualong. China thinks above all of China.
Les Echos 6th June 2018 read more »
French energy giant EDF announced yesterday that the first example of an EPR third-generation nuclear reactor has begun operating. Xavier Ursat, head of new nuclear power at EDF, tweeted: “The EPR at Taishan in China has just undergone its first chain reaction and has entered service. This is excellent news for the whole nuclear industry.” Among those breathing a sigh of relief will be the reactor’s designers at Areva, EDF and Siemens, as well as everyone involved with the Hinkley Point C project in the UK, which will use the EPR design.
Global Construction Review 7th June 2018 read more »
Unit 1 of the Taishan nuclear power plant in China’s Guangdong province has attained a sustained chain reaction for the first time, becoming the first EPR reactor to reach the commissioning milestone. The unit is expected to enter commercial operation later this year.
World Nuclear News 7th June 2018 read more »