(Yicai Global) April 11 -- Taishan Nuclear Power Co., a Sino-French joint venture has started fuel loading at the world’s first European pressurized reactor (EPR) nuclear plant currently under construction in China’s southern Guandong province.
The company, formed by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co. and Electricite De France SA, started loading at the third generation Taishan Nuclear Plant Unit 1 after receiving formal approvals from the National Nuclear Safety Administration, state news outlet The Paper reported.
China has invested heavily in the development of nuclear power in recent years and is home to one-third of all such plants under-construction globally. The country will overtake the US as the biggest market for nuclear energy by 2030, International Energy Agency Director Fatih Birol said at a conference last month. Nuclear capacity in China makes up two percent of the total energy mix at present, rising to four percent by 2040.
The first fuel loading marks an important step in efforts to connect the plant to the grid and marks the beginning of trial operations. Taishan Nuclear Power Plant’s first phase involves the construction of the world’s two largest nuclear power units, which will boast 1.75 million kilowatts of stand-alone capacity.
Guangdong Yudean Group Co. started construction of the plant in 2009, and will also be responsible for operations. EDF is promoting the use of EPR technology globally, and it is being used at two under-construction plants in Finland and France.