The containment dome of unit 5 of the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China's Jiangsu province was installed today, marking the reactor's entry into the equipment installation phase of construction, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said.
Installation of the 188-tonne dome was completed at 8.23am today and completes the civil construction phase of the project, CNNC said. The operation to lift the dome into place took less than one hour.
Construction of Tianwan Phase III - units 5 and 6 - was originally scheduled to start in early 2011. However, following the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, the Chinese government suspended the approval of new nuclear power projects, including those two units.
The latest Five-Year Plan calls for construction of Phase III of the Tianwan plant to be accelerated. The State Council gave its approval for Tianwan units 5 and 6 - both featuring 1080 MWe ACPR1000 reactors - on 16 December 2015. First safety-related concrete was poured for unit 5 on 27 December 2015, with that for unit 6 poured on 7 September 2016.
CNNC said it plans to put both units 5 and 6 into commercial operation by the end of 2021.
Tianwan Phase I - units 1 and 2 - was constructed under a 1992 cooperation agreement between China and Russia. First concrete was poured in October 1999, and the units were commissioned in June 2007 and September 2007 respectively. Tianwan Phase II - units 3 and 4 - are similar to the first stage of the Tianwan plant, comprising two Russian-designed 1060 MWe VVER-1000 pressurised water reactors. First concrete for unit 3 was poured in December 2012, while construction of the fourth unit began in September 2013. Fuel loading began at unit 3 last month, with operation planned to start in February 2018. Unit 4 is scheduled to begin operating in March 2019.
The Tianwan plant is owned and operated by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation, a joint venture between CNNC (50%), China Power Investment Corporation (30%) and Jiangsu Guoxin Group (20%).