First nuclear unit with Hualong One reactor starts commercial operation

BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) — China’s first nuclear power unit using Hualong One, a domestically designed third-generation nuclear reactor, has entered commercial operation, paving the way for mass production and export.

The No. 5 unit in the city of Fuqing, east China’s Fujian Province, is generating electricity for sale after a seven-day trial run, said the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) Saturday.

The Hualong One reactor, with all of its core components produced domestically, has a design life of 60 years and meets the strictest safety standards in the world, according to the CNNC.

“With Hualong One online, China is now at the forefront of third-generation nuclear technology in the world, alongside countries like the United States, France and Russia,” said CNNC President Yu Jianfeng.

The commercial use of Hualong One will also help meet low-carbon development goals like having CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, Yu added.

The No. 5 unit is expected to generate nearly 10 billion kWh of electricity each year, potentially reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 8.16 million tonnes in annual terms, CNNC data showed.

Construction of the No. 5 unit began in May 2015, and has proceeded as scheduled despite the disruptions brought by the COVID-19 epidemic, said the CNNC. 

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