The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract has been signed for the second phase of the Tianwan nuclear power plant by two China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) subsidiaries.
The contract was signed by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation (JNPC) and China Nuclear Power Engineering Co (CNPE) in Beijing on 11 October. The signing ceremony was attended by various dignitaries, including Lvhua Xiang, vice president of the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation, and Li Xiaoming, assistant general manager of CNNC.
Tianwan Phase II - units 3 and 4 - will be similar to the first stage of the Tianwan plant, comprising two Russian-designed 1060 MWe VVER-1000 pressurized water reactors. While Russia's Atomstroyexport (ASE) will supply the nuclear islands for the new units, JNPC and CNPE will be responsible for the design and supply of non-nuclear components and equipment.
The planned start of construction date has not been disclosed. In response to the Fukushima accident in Japan, the Chinese government has said that no permits for new reactors will be issued until a new national nuclear safety regime has been phased in. The opinion of Chinese industry insiders is that this would come by the end of 2011 and that reactor approvals will recommence in 2012.
A preliminary agreement for the construction of Phase II of the Tianwan plant at Lianyungang city in China's Jiangsu province was signed in October 2006 with ASE. Construction of units 3 and 4 was originally planned to start when both the first two units were commissioned, however this has been delayed by several years. A general contract - agreed in November 2010 - came into force after the signing of a final agreement in June 2011 defining commercial terms and payment details.
Due to urgency in meeting power demands, construction of Phase III (units 5 and 6) of the Tianwan plant could start before that of Phase II. An EPC for the Phase III units was signed by CNPE and JNPC in February 2011, with CNPE acting as the project contractor. These reactors are likely to be either Russian-supplied VVER-1200 reactors or Chinese-designed CPR-1000 units.
Tianwan Phase 1 was constructed under a 1992 cooperation agreement between China and Russia. First concrete was poured in October 1999, and the units were commissioned in June 2007 and September 2007 respectively. A two-year warranty operation period for Phase 1 expired in September 2009, and the plant was formally signed over in 2010.
JNPC was established in late 1997 and is mainly responsible for the construction and operation of the Tianwan plant. The corporation consists of the following three shareholders: CNNC (50%), China Power Investment Corporation (30%) and Jiangsu Guoxin Group (20%).
CNPE was set up by CNNC in 2006 to rationalise design work for new nuclear plants, as well as to help win overseas orders for nuclear plants. It is responsible for the construction, equipment procurement, trial testing and operational maintenance of nuclear power plants.