Construction starts of unit 8 at China’s Tianwan nuclear power plant

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The construction of unit 8 of the Tianwan nuclear power plant (NPP) in China officially got underway recently with the pouring of first concrete for the reactor’s nuclear island, according to the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom.  

The Tianwan unit 8 is one of four state-of-the-art VVER-1200 reactors to be supplied by Russia to China under a 2018 intergovernmental agreement, making this the largest China-Russia nuclear energy cooperation project to date. Rosatom said that “three out of four reactors are already under construction while preparations are ongoing to build the fourth reactor, Xudabao Unit 4.”  

A statement by Rosatom subsidiary AtomStroyExport (ASE) said: “The documentation prepared by the engineers of the St Petersburg Design Institute of Atomenergoproekt JSC and handed over to the Chinese customer made it possible to start the concrete pouring procedure according to the schedule.”  

A ground-breaking ceremony in May 2021 marked the start of construction for power units 7 and 8 of the Tianwan NPP located in the city of Lianyungang in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, and units 3 and 4 of the Xudapu NPP located in Xingcheng in the Liaoning province.  

According to Xinhua news agency, when completed and put in operation, the annual power generation by these four units, of 1,200 MW capacity each, will reach 37.6 billion kilowatt-hours, which is equivalent to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 30.68 million tonnes per year.  

The proposed units 7 and 8 at Tianwan are more advanced as compared to the four commercially operating VVER-1000 reactors previously supplied by Rosatom for units 1 to 4 at the Tianwan site.  

A general contract for Tianwan Phase IV – units 7 and 8 – was signed between AtomStroyExport and the China National Nuclear Corporation in March 2019. 

Rosatom said that while the Tianwan unit 7 is expected to be put in operation in 2026, and Tianwan 8, as well as the Xudabao unit 3, in 2027, the Xudabao unit 4 is projected to come on stream in 2028.