China's first production line for AP1000 fuel has now produced 64 sets of fuel assemblies for the first reloads of the two AP1000 units under construction at the Sanmen nuclear plant, scheduled to begin operating later this year.
China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said that the specifications of the components met the technical requirements. The first cores and some reloads for the four AP1000s under construction at the Sanmen and Haiyang will be provided by Westinghouse. However, in a 2011 $35m deal, Westinghouse agreed to "design, manufacture and install fuel fabrication equipment" for CNNC subsidiary China North Nuclear Fuel, with the aim of supplying subsequent fuel for the Sanmen and Haiyang units as well as any future AP1000s.
Construction of the 400t/yr AP1000 fuel line began in March 2012 at the Baotou fuel fabrication facility in Inner Mongolia. Qualification of the line was completed in October 2016, and the plant was formally put into production on 16 June 2017 after two sets of dummy fuel assemblies were made to verify the production process. In January 2017, China North Nuclear Fuel signed a refuelling package procurement contract with the Sanmen NPP under which the production line will supply batches of fuel assemblies for the second, third and fourth fuel cycles of Sanmen 1&2.
Photo: Chinese-produced AP1000 fuel assemblies (Credit: CNCC)