China’s Ningde nuclear power plant has sent electric power to the grid for the first time. The landmark, which was achieved on 28 December, marks the transition of the reactor from the construction to the commissioning phase.

China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC), the plant operator confirmed further tests will be conducted before the reactor will enter commercial operation.

Achieving that status will require regulatory approval, as well as a programme of operational tests including a run lasting 168 hours at its full-rated power output of 1080 MW.

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 in 2010.

All four reactors are expected to be fully operational before the end of 2015 and will help to ease pressure on the energy transport infrastructure in the congested coastal areas of China’s southeast.

Ningde is jointly owned by CGNPC (46 per cent) and China Datang Corporation (44 per cent), with the remaining 10 per cent is held by Fujian Provincial Energy Group.

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