Control room engineers at Ningde 1 sent power to the grid for the first time, in the Fujian province of China.
The landmark was reached at 2.58pm on 28 December as the delivery of first electricity took the reactor from the construction phase into commissioning. Operator China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) said it was the beginning of the nuclear power plant creating value for society.
Further tests remain before the reactor will reach the next official stage, commercial operation, in which it will generate power solidly for a lifespan expected to be 60 years.
Achieving that status requires regulatory approval and a program of operational tests including a run lasting 168 hours its full rated power output of 1080 MWe. This work may take a few months.
The reactor is the first of four CPR-1000s at the Ningde site in Fujian province. Construction on units 1 and 2 started in 2008 and units 3 and 4 were started in 2010. They should all be in operation before the end of 2015 and are expected to ease pressure on energy transport infrastructure in the congested coastal areas of China’s southeast.
The plant is 46% owned by CGNPC and 44% by China Datang Corporation. The remaining 10% is held by Fujian Provincial Energy Group.