Unit 3 of the Ningde nuclear power plant in Fujian province was connected to the grid on 21 March, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced yesterday. The company now has 14 power reactors in operation.

CGN said 1020 MWe CPR-1000 pressurized water reactor was connected to the grid at 8.08pm on 21 March. Ningde 3 achieved first criticality on 7 March.

The company said the reactor will enter commercial operation once it has successfully completed a test run lasting 168 hours.

Ningde 3 is one of four CPR-1000 units being built on the site. Construction of units 1 and 2 started in 2008 and those units entered commercial operation in June 2013 and May 2014, respectively. Construction of units 3 and 4 started in 2010. Unit 4 is expected to begin commercial operation in 2016.

The Ningde plant is built across three small islands near Fuqing City in the northeast of Fujian province. The plant is co-owned by CGN (46%), China Datang Corp (44%) and Fujian Energy Group (10%).

Ningde is the first nuclear project of Datang, one of the five large generating companies formed from splitting up the State Power Corporation in 2002.

The start-up of Ningde 3 brings CGN’s total number of power reactors in operation to 14, with a combined generating capacity of 14.9 GWe.

The company expects to bring two further reactors — Hongyanhe 4 and Fangchenggang 1 — into enter commercial operation by the end of this year.

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