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25 years on, Daya Bay NPP elevates Chinese nuclear power

2019-05-06



With Unit 2 up and running, the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) was fully put into operation 25 years ago today, becoming the first gigawatt-level commercial nuclear power plant in the Chinese mainland.

“It is an amazing project, and we should strive to make it a paragon for China’s reform and opening-up,” said Deng Xiaoping at the signing ceremony of the Guangdong Nuclear Power Joint Venture in the Great Hall of the People on Jan 19, 1985.

In December 1978, Deng, "designer-in-chief" of China's reform and opening-up, decided to buy two NPPs from France after a meeting with the French Minister of Foreign Trade. In December 1982, the State Council approved plans to adopt French nuclear power technology in the construction of Daya Bay NPP.

The construction of LNPS I was completed on Jan 8, 2003 amid efforts to promote the domestication of nuclear power, and construction on LNPS II was completed on Aug 7, 2011 with independent technology, the CPR1000. Daya Bay Base, now boasting six gigawatt-level units, has become the world’s largest pressurized light-water reactor nuclear power base.

With Daya Bay NPP as a starting point, CGN has embarked on a developmental road of “introduction, digestion, assimilation, and re-innovation.” It established professionalized operation plans and produced a national calling card for China, the HPR 1000, which has elevated China’s nuclear power to the forefront in the world.

The Daya Bay NPP, which began operation in 1994, will record 100 reactor-years by May 13, leading the world in safety operation. Of the 72 performance indicators for the six nuclear power units at the base, 54 ranked in the world’s top quartile and 49 were in the world’s top decile in 2018, according to the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).

The Daya Bay Nuclear Power Base (Daya Bay Base) won first prize under the Capability Factor category at the EDF Safety Challenge Competition for the 11th consecutive year on March 28. It has maintained a top spot among similar nuclear power operators by claiming 39 first prizes in the competition, more than half of the total.

Unit 1 of the LNPS I has safely operated for 14 years with zero unplanned shutdowns as of May 6, a record that tops its global counterparts, and is continuing.

By the end of 2018, the Daya Bay NPP had generated 350.861 TWh of on-grid electricity, with 248.818 TWh exported to Hong Kong, meeting a quarter of its electricity demand. The accumulated on-grid electricity of the six units at Daya Bay Base was 709.848 TWh, equivalent to reducing consumption of standard coal by 219 million tons, cutting emission of carbon dioxide by 574 million tons, and planting of 1.6 million hectares of forests which is eight times the size of Shenzhen. The environmental radioactivity of surrounding area has not changed since the nuclear power station began operations, nor has the inland and sea biological population in this region changed.

Since its construction, the Daya Bay Base has attracted great importance to talent cultivation. It sent talents to France and Britain for systematic training at a fee of 1.3 million francs per person. Given the contribution of these talents to China’s nuclear power development, they have been given the nickname of “Golden Person.”

Meanwhile, Daya Bay Base has set up a sound system for the training of main control room operators, maintenance technicians, engineering construction talents, and management talents, while also being equipped with the most advanced training facility in the domestic nuclear power industry. There are only two nuclear fuel operator training centers in the world, one is in the base.

In the scaled development of China’s nuclear power industry, the base has "exported" a large number of talents to offer new power stations their management and technical experience. By the end of 2018, more than 4,000 talents in the fields of operation, maintenance, and engineering technology had been exported to other countries. It also normalized management and technology, making them able to be replicated and applied in new nuclear power bases.

As a pioneer of China’s reform and opening-up, the base will make full use of its role in advancing the sustainable development of the domestic nuclear power industry and aiding in its global expansion.