Unit 1 of Sanmen nuclear power plant in China enters commercial operations

The first unit of the 2,500MW Sanmen nuclear power plant phase one built by Sanmen Nuclear Power and located in Sanmen, Zhejiang Province, China has entered into commercial operations.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), which has supplied the steam turbine generation facilities for the Sanmen nuclear power plant, said that the equipment has cleared all the required functional, safety confirmation, and performance tests.

The first phase of the Chinese nuclear power plant will feature two AP1000 pressurized water reactors, each of 1,250MW, that have been developed by Westinghouse Electric.

Its first unit began commercial operation after passing performance tests and also meeting the 168 hours of continuous demonstrated operation that was further required by the Chinese government.

Westinghouse president and CEO José Emeterio Gutiérrez said: “Many years have been dedicated to successfully bringing the first AP1000 unit to life.

“Our Westinghouse design and technology is now live and generating safe, clean energy.”

According to Westinghouse, the AP1000 plant has been designed to shut down safely and automatically without operator action for up to 72 hours in case of a design-basis incident.

Sanmen 1 is also equipped with Westinghouse’s digital instrumentation and controls that are said to improve the reliability of plant control and safety systems through an integrated, plant-wide approach.

As per a contract given in 2007 from Sanmen Nuclear Power, MHPS has delivered six low-pressure turbines, two high-pressure turbines along with the main valves and other equipment for the two units within the Sanmen nuclear power plant.

On the other hand, the turbine casing, heat exchanger, auxiliary equipment and other equipment were handled by Harbin Electric. The company along with Mitsubishi Electric supplied each supplied a generator for the nuclear power plant.

Through a technology transfer, MHPS provided the designs for the turbine, heat exchanger, and auxiliary equipment.

Having commenced fuel loading during late April 2018, the unit 1 of the Sanmen nuclear power plant achieved 100% output in mid-August.

MHPS, in a statement, said: “The power generating unit, as noted previously, is the world’s first commercial AP1000. MHPS assigned engineers on a long-term basis to conduct prior verification tests with the nuclear reactor and turbine sides, as well as confirmation tests on site.

“The meticulous project management and close communication led to a smooth start of commercial operations.”