Press Release: Major milestone reached for HPR1000 nuclear technology planned to be used at Bradwell

23 May 2018

Press Release: Major milestone reached for HPR1000 nuclear technology planned to be used at Bradwell

China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), the global clean energy company, today announced the successful completion of dome lifting at the demonstration project of HPR1000 nuclear reactor technology, Unit 3 of the nuclear power station at Fangchenggang in Guangxi Province, China.

Dome lifting is an important point in the construction phase of a nuclear power plant. The dome is a vital part of ensuring the integrity and sealing of the reactor building.  With the dome in place it is now possible to begin equipment installation, meaning that this is a major milestone for the project.

The news of this step forward is also highly significant for the UK, since Fangchenggang Unit 3 is the reference plant for the HPR1000.  This is the reactor which CGN and EDF plan, subject to regulatory approval, to construct at Bradwell B in Essex.  CGN and EDF are working together through their joint venture company GNS (General Nuclear System Ltd) to gain regulatory approval for the UK HPR 1000.  The Generic Design Assessment is at present at step 2, of a 4-step process

Zheng Dongshan, CEO of CGN UK, said: “The announcement today shows the very positive progress being made at Fangchenggang Unit 3, and illustrates once again our expertise, as the world’s leading builder of nuclear power stations, in project management, engineering and construction of new reactors.

This milestone for the HPR1000 technology is also great news for the Bradwell B project, showing that CGN will have a track record in safely and efficiently building and operating this type of reactor well before the project becomes operational in the UK.

The HPR1000 reactor is based on PWR technology, the same as is used at Sizewell B and hundreds of other plants operating around the world.  The construction and, ultimately, operation of the HPR1000 reactor at Fangchenggang will provide invaluable experience that will inform the UK version.

A number of consents and permissions are required for the Bradwell B project, which will take several years to secure, following consultation with the local community and general public.  The UK HPR1000 GDA process is currently open for public comment.  Another key permission is the Development Consent Order process, which will involve multiple stages of public consultation before submission to the UK Planning Inspectorate and a decision taken by the Secretary of State.

For more information contact:

Moon Ye (liang-ye@cgnpc.com.cn or +44 7107 308124)

Gavin Devine (grd@parkstreetpartners.co.uk or +44 7535 750505)

Background information

The dome of Fangchenggang Unit 3 has a diameter of 45 metres.  It is 13.6 metres high and weighs about 260 tons, or the same as around 20 London buses.  The area of the dome is equivalent to 4 standard basketball courts.

It is made up of embedded parts, steel plates and welded corner steel. There are safety and control systems installed within the dome.  Exceptionally high technical standards are a prerequisite for prefabricating and assembling the dome on the ground before lifting. It is also a great challenge to lift such a dome to a height of 63 meters above the nuclear island and control movements within millimetres.

CGN used innovative three-dimensional modelling and other intelligent nuclear power construction technology to simulate the dome lifting, allowing it to predict the challenges and formulate solutions to ensure the accuracy, safety and success of the dome lifting in practice. The application of intelligent construction technology enabled risks to be anticipated ahead of time, and immeasurably improved the level of construction management.

Two units of Phase One (CPR1000) of the Fangchenggang nuclear power station are already in operation, providing 15,000GWh annually of safe, clean and affordable electricity. The two units of Phase Two (HPR1000) will be able to provide 16,500 GWh per year after completion.

CGN in the UK

CGN is a leading global clean energy company, with diverse interests including hydropower, wind power and solar, as well as nuclear power, fuel and financing.  The company and its subsidiaries employ 42,000 people around the world, and has total assets of RMB 430.7 billion (approximately £50.2bn).

CGN is the largest owner and operator of nuclear power stations in China, and is the world’s largest builder of nuclear reactors.  It has 20 nuclear units in operation in China, with a total capacity of 21.47 GW, or 62% of China’s installed nuclear power capacity.  It also has 8 units under construction with a capacity of 10.27 GW, accounting for 44% of China’s nuclear new build projects, and 17% percent of all new build globally.  CGN is also a major player in the renewables sector, with capacity of 26GW in operation around the world.

In the UK and Ireland, CGN already operates 300MW of onshore wind power, with a further 650MW in France and Belgium.  It has already committed to invest more than £10 billion in UK new nuclear (Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C, and Bradwell B).  These investments are via General Nuclear International (GNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CGN, and through 4 Joint Ventures with EDF.

CGN owns 33.5% of the HPC project, in which it is both an investor and an industrial partner bringing more than 30 years of construction experience, project management expertise and lessons learnt from Taishan.  It is a 20% shareholder in SZC development, and a majority shareholder (66.5 percent) in Bradwell Power Generation Company Ltd (BRB), a joint venture with EDF which will take forward the Bradwell B project.  As mentioned, the reference plant is the HPR1000 reactor under construction at Fangchenggang, in Guangxi Province, China.  CGN is also a majority shareholder in the joint venture (GNS) taking forward the Generic Design Assessment process for the UK HPR1000 technology.

CGN is committed to being a major, credible, and long-term industrial player in the UK.  CGN UK already has around 160 workers in the UK and in France.  It will directly and indirectly create thousands of jobs, and very significant commercial opportunities for UK companies, as it takes forward its nuclear new build projects and other energy developments in the coming months and years.