Taishan Nuclear Power Plant

The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant (Chinese: 台山核电站; pinyin: Táishān Hédiànzhàn) is a nuclear power plant in Taishan, Guangdong province, China.[1] The plant features two operational EPR reactors. The first unit, Taishan 1, entered commercial service in December 2018. The second unit, Taishan 2, entered commercial service in September 2019. Delays at other EPR construction sites in Finland and France have meant that Taishan was the first nuclear power plant to have an operational EPR.

Taishan Nuclear Power Plant
Overview of reactors 1 and 2
Taishan Units 1 & 2
LocationTaishan, Guangdong
Coordinates21°55′4″N 112°58′55″E / 21.91778°N 112.98194°E / 21.91778; 112.98194Coordinates: 21°55′4″N 112°58′55″E / 21.91778°N 112.98194°E / 21.91778; 112.98194
Construction began2009
Commission date2018
Construction cost50.2 billion yuan (US$7.5 billion)
Owner(s)CGNPC (70%), EDF (30%)
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR
Reactor supplierAreva
Cooling sourceYaogu Bay
Power generation
Units operational2 × 1660 MW (net)
Nameplate capacity3,320 MW
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

The project is owned by Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited (TNPC), which is 70% owned by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC) and 30% by Électricité de France (EDF).

The plant's twin reactors each have a nameplate capacity 1750 MWe. Its Arabelle generators are the largest single-piece electrical generators in the world, each weighing 495 tonnes and built by Dongfang Electric. Of the 3500 MWe gross delivered, around 180 MWe will be used by plant systems. Most of this is used to power the pumps that feed water into the steam generators. The pair of reactors can deliver 3320 MWe net for supply to the grid, making these the most powerful reactors in the world.[2]



Excavation work began on August 26, 2008.[3] The first concrete for the first unit was poured in October 2009.[4] Construction of each unit was planned to take 46 months, significantly faster and cheaper than the first two EPRs in Finland and France.[5] These plans have proved elusive as start up was repeatedly delayed. In February 2017, after 88 months of construction, CGNPC announced that completion of the reactors would be delayed until the second half of 2017 and the first half of 2018.[6]

Areva was contracted to develop the nuclear island (including reactor) and supply fuel for 15 years, as well as providing technology transfer and engineering services.[7][8]

In December 2017, Hong Kong media reported that a boiler had cracked during testing, and that welding on the component was considered "problematic". Neither the nuclear plant's operators nor the manufacturer of the affected component responded to the news agency's request for comment.[9][10] The boiler was later found to be a deaerator, which removes dissolved oxygen from water by heating it.

In January 2018 commissioning was rescheduled, with commercial operation expected in late 2018 and 2019.[11] This was the third delay in two years, involving a further deferral of 5 billion yuan (US$770 million). It was estimated that the plant’s investment cost would rise to between 22 and 23 yuan per watt from an originally budgeted 14 yuan.[12]

On April 9, 2018, the Official Letter of Approving the Initial Fuel Loading of the first unit of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant was issued by the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA). Taishan Unit 1 began fuel loading at 18:18 on April 10, marking the beginning of fuel loading of the first reactor using the third-generation nuclear power technology EPR.[13]


First criticality was achieved at Taishan Unit 1 on June 6, 2018.[14] On June 29, 2018, Taishan 1 was connected to the grid.[15][16] It became the first EPR to enter commercial operation on December 13, 2018.[17]

On March 2, 2021, the Chinese NNSA reported that a "level 0" incident occurred on February 21, which caused Unit 1 to SCRAM automatically. Post-accident investigation revealed the cause of the SCRAM to be a technician accidentally shorting a circuit during an onsite investigation of a slight under-voltage of a 10kV power supply. To prevent this accident from occurring in the future, all nuclear power plants were ordered to revise operating procedures to improve reliability and maintainability of similar power supplies.[18]

On April 11, 2021, the Chinese NNSA reported that another level 0 incident occurred on April 5, resulting in the unexpected release of radioactive gas into the atmosphere. Post-accident investigation calculated the amount of radioactive release to contribute to 0.00044% of annual limit, well within safety parameters.[19]

June 2021Edit

On June 14, 2021, CNN reported that the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant had a suspected leak, based on a report by Framatome communicated to the United States on June 8, which read, in part, "The situation is an imminent radiological threat to the site and to the public and Framatome urgently requests permission to transfer technical data and assistance as may be necessary to return the plant to normal operation."[20] Said incident is the level 0 incident previously reported on April 11, 2021. Further details provided by Framatome revealed that the issue was build-up of xenon and krypton inert fission gases in the primary circuit of Taishan 1, potentially from a leak in a fuel rod housing. The build-up was described as "known phenomenon" which is well covered in the plant's operating and safety procedures.[21]

On June 15, Japan reported that its radiation monitoring posts, the closest of which is at Yonaguni Island, did not measure any "abnormalities in data".[22]

Li Ning, a nuclear scientist based in the United States, criticized CNN as "making a mountain out of a molehill", stating that it was unrealistic to expect "zero failure" in the fuel claddings at any nuclear reactor. Li also criticized the media for being "often unwilling to put risks into proper perspective", which according to Li, killed the Western nuclear industry, and stated that "Coal fired power plants can emit and discharge more radioactivity than nuclear power plants."[23]

On June 16 2021, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment released a conversation dialog with representatives from the NNSA. Five out of 60,000 fuel rods (0.01%) in reactor core 1 were estimated to be suffering from cladding defects. The ratio was well within design maximum fault rate of 0.25%. CGN stated there had been no release of radiation from the plant, and the small increase in the level of radioactivity was confined to the primary coolant circuit.[24][25] After analysing the available data, EDF stated "This is not an emergency or an incident. It is a situation, that is covered by operating procedures, that is known and understood." However EDF said they were concerned about the French supplied fuel rods deteriorating further, and under regulations in France the reactor would be shut down to investigate why the fuel rods had lost their sealings, and perform necessary maintenance.[26]

On 30 July 2021, the plant operator(CGNPC) reported that they have shutdown Taishan Unit 1 for maintenance after lengthy talks with relevant technicians. Engineers would find the cause of the damage and replace the affected fuel rods.[27]

Reactor dataEdit

The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant Phase I consists of two reactors: both reactors are in commercial operation. Its Phase II consists of adding two additional reactors.

Unit Type Model Net power Gross power Thermal power Construction start First criticality Grid connection Commercial operation Notes
Phase I
Taishan 1 PWR EPR 1660 MW 1750 MW 4590 MWth November 18, 2009 June 6, 2018 June 29, 2018 December 13, 2018 [4][28][29][6][11]
Taishan 2 PWR EPR 1660 MW 1750 MW 4590 MWth April 15, 2010 May 28, 2019 June 25, 2019 September 7, 2019 [29][30][31][6][11][32][33]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Taishan nuclear power plant to be one of world's largest". People's Daily. December 22, 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
  2. ^ "The generator stator for the Taishan 1 EPR has arrived on site and been hoisted into place for installation". World Nuclear News. October 11, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  3. ^ "NPP under construction". China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group. Archived from the original on 2011-01-02. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
  4. ^ a b "Nuclear Power in China". Information Papers. World Nuclear Association (WNA). 29 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
  5. ^ Patel, Tara; de Beaupuy, Francois (2010-11-24). "China Builds Nuclear Reactor for 40% Less Than Cost in France, Areva Says". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
  6. ^ a b c "China delays nuclear reactor start again". Yahoo! News. 2017-02-21. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
  7. ^ "Large Projects - Taishan 1 & 2". Framatome. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  8. ^ "First fuel produced for Chinese EPR". World Nuclear News. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  9. ^ "Tests reveal crack in key component of Chinese nuclear power plant, 130 km west of Hong Kong". Hong Kong Free Press. FactWire. 12 December 2017.
  10. ^ "A battle for transparency: Two years of holding Taishan nuclear power plant accountable". 6 July 2018.
  11. ^ a b c "Taishan schedule factors in commissioning tests". World Nuclear News. 2 January 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  12. ^ "CGN Power's latest project delay deals another blow to China's nuclear energy ambition". South China Morning Post. 2 January 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  13. ^ "中法合资广东台山核电站1号机组装料在即". Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  14. ^ "First criticality achieved at Chinese EPR". www.world-nuclear-news.org. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Taishan 1, world's first EPR connected to the grid". EDF Energy. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  16. ^ "China's Taishan 1 reactor connected to grid". www.world-nuclear-news.org. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  17. ^ "First EPR enters commercial operation". World Nuclear News. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  18. ^ "台山核电厂1号机组正常功率运行期间一台主泵跳闸导致反应堆自动停堆运行事件_国家核安全局". nnsa.mee.gov.cn (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  19. ^ "台山核电厂1号机组废气处理系统操作期间少量气体短时释放运行事件_国家核安全局". nnsa.mee.gov.cn (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  20. ^ Zachary Cohen (2021-06-14). "Exclusive: US assessing reported leak at Chinese nuclear power facility". CNN. Archived from the original on 2021-06-14.
  21. ^ "Explainer-What happened at China's Taishan nuclear reactor?". uk.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  22. ^ "French firm denies report on China radiation leak | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News". Reuters=ja. 16 June 2021. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  23. ^ Stanway, David (16 June 2021). "Explainer: What happened at China's Taishan nuclear reactor?". www.reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  24. ^ "Fuel failure confirmed at Taishan 1". World Nuclear News. 16 June 2021. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  25. ^ "生態環境部(國家核安全局)有關負責人就CNN關於台山核電廠報導答記者問". www.mee.gov.cn. Ministry of Ecology and Environment. 16 June 2021. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  26. ^ Sheppard, David (22 July 2021). "EDF says it would shut Taishan reactor if it were in France". Financial Times. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  27. ^ "China nuclear: Taishan reactor shut down over damaged fuel rods". BBC News. 2021-07-30. Retrieved 2021-07-31.
  28. ^ "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - Taishan 1". Power Reactor Information System (PRIS). International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  29. ^ a b "EDF says first Taishan nuclear plant to be ready end 2015". reuters.com. Reuters. 29 Jan 2015. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  30. ^ "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - Taishan 2". PRIS. IAEA. 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  31. ^ "First concrete for second Taishan reactor". World Nuclear News. WNA. 16 April 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
  32. ^ http://www.world-nuclear.org/reactor/default.aspx/TAISHAN-2
  33. ^ "The second EPR reactor at China's Taishan nuclear power plant about to enter into commercial operation". EDF Energy. EDF. 6 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.