China’s first power unit using the country’s self-developed third-generation Hualong-1 technology has completed the very first phase of its commercial operation in Fuqing, southeast China’s Fujian Province.

The advanced unit, the fifth in the plant, began construction in 2015, went into commercial operation in January 2021 and offers important experiences for quantity production. The third-generation technology features both active and passive safety measures to avoid potential accidents like what happened to the 2nd-generation units of the Fukushima power plant. With a design life of 60 years, the Hualong-1 reactor has 177 reactor cores that need refueling every 18 months. It meets the strictest safety standards in the world, according to the China National Nuclear Corporation. Its designer says the unit’s double-layer shell can withstand a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and even an air crash. The staff shared what they do every day. “The main daily duties of our operators include conducting periodic tests, switching between devices as well as maintenance. This is to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the power unit,” said Niu Pengliang, the chief operator of the Hualong-1 Power Unit at Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant.

The staff working here also need to be specially trained as what they do in the main control room is as sensitive as the work of pilots or astronauts. “Our technical operation guidelines are complete, covering normal operation, malfunctions and accidents. Now, we focus more on our operators and their code of conduct,” said Cao Yuhua, the trainer of Hualong-1 Operators at Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant. The unit is expected to produce electricity for at least one million people annually. And that’s not all. At Fuqing power plant, we can see there is a sea water monitoring station and wind power generators in the distance, which means they want to use new energies to reduce the carbon emission. And the second unit using Hualong-1 technology at the plant was ready for commercial operation in March this year, marking the complete operation of the demonstration project with two units. At a time of global energy shortages, more countries or regions are choosing nuclear power as a green and sustainable form of energy. The operators here say each Hualong-1 power unit can cut carbon emissions by more than eight million tons per year and could help countries realize their carbon neutrality goals.

Source: This news is originally published by cgtn

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