Russian and Chinese state nuclear corporations have signed a general contract on construction of the seventh and eighth power units at the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the biggest joint NPP project between the two countries.
The document was signed by the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Russian Rosatom’s engineering division in Beijing earlier this month. Apart from the construction of two power units at the nuclear plant in China’s Jiangsu province, the parties also agreed on the basic design of the third and fourth units of Xudabao NPP in Liaoning province, the Russian state-run corporation announced in a statement on March 11.
“This package defines the major lines to develop cooperation between Russia and China in the nuclear industry for the next decades,” Rosatom said.
The initial agreements for the construction of the two units for the Tianwan nuclear site were inked in June 2018, when Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. It was earlier reported that works on the seventh 1,200-megawatt units are scheduled to start in 2021 and the launch was expected in 2026-2027.
Built in 2006 on the coast of the Yellow Sea, the Tianwan plant is one of the biggest joint projects of Russian-Chinese economic cooperation. The First two of its units, with a capacity of 1,000 MW each, were launched in 2007. Unit 3 began operations in 2017, and the reactor at the latest, fourth unit was launched at minimum capacity in September last year after the fuel loading had been finished ahead of schedule.
Moscow and Beijing have been broadening bilateral cooperation, including strengthening ties in the nuclear energy sector. In June, Russian and Chinese nuclear executives signed “the biggest package of contracts in the history of the two countries’ nuclear partnership,” according to Rosatom.
Apart from supplies of the power units, the package covered cooperation on a fast-neutron nuclear reactor currently under construction in China (also known as the CFR-600 fast reactor pilot project) and supply of the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator parts for China’s lunar exploration program.