China begins work on $17bn Xudabao nuclear power station

China National Nuclear Power has begun work on a $17bn project to install two Russian-designed reactors at its new-build Xudabao nuclear power station in Liaoning Province, northeast China.

The company, a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corporation, told the Shanghai stock exchange this week that it had begun pouring concrete for the nuclear island of Xudabao 3, which despite its designation will be the first reactor at the site. 

China and Russia agreed a wide-ranging nuclear deal in June 2018. According to the terms, Rosatom’s Atomstroyexport subsidiary would supply two of its flagship VVER-1200 reactors to the existing Tianwan plant in Jiangsu province, eastern China, and another two to the greenfield Xudabao power station.

World Nuclear News reports that Rosatom will design the nuclear island and supply steam generators, cooling pumps, piping and pressurisers. It will also supervise the construction and commissioning of the reactors. The remainder of the plant, including the turbines, will be handled by China. 

Work on Xudabao 4 is due to begin next year, and both are expected to have a six-year construction schedule.

The Xudabao nuclear site was to have been developed in 2010 using Chinese reactors, but work was delayed by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration gave the green light to the first two units, Xudabao 1 and 2, in April 2014, however no work has yet been carried out. 

Image: Work under way on a VVER-1000 reactor vessel (RIA Novosti/A Khrupov/CC-BY-SA 3.0) 

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