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CGN shines in NPP operation management


Editor’s note

CGN has developed into a big player in the operation management of nuclear power across the world.

CGN started to expand its business in operating nuclear power plants (NPPs) nationwide after the Unit 1 of Ningde NPP began commercial operation in April 2013.

Ningde NPP, located at the foot of Taimu Mountain in Fujian province, is the first NPP operated by CGN outside Guangdong province, where it’s headquartered.

Over the past five years, CGN witnessed 14 units put into commercial operation, gaining a greater presence in the sector.

CGN took eight years to be able to independently operate and manage a single NPP since when the Unit 1 of Daya Bay NPP began commercial operation in 1994.

From 2002 to 2012, CGN operated six units at the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Base and developed the expertise of running multiple nuclear power units at the same base.

A group of nuclear power units were put into operation during the 2013-17 period at different sites: Ningde NPP in Fujian province, Hongyanhe NPP in Liaoning province and Fangchenggang NPP in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Now, CGN is entering a new era of multi-site operation nationwide.

It rolled out a “standardized, specialized and centralized” management strategy and launched a division to further improve efficiency and safety.

In 2012, China Nuclear Power Operations Co, a CGN subsidiary specializing in nuclear power operation was set up, committed to providing life-cycle service for NPPs, ranging from consultation, technical support, to project implementation and personnel training.

CGN‘s Daya Bay nuclear power base boasts two entries in the world’s top three list for nuclear power units’ safe operation. The Ling Ao NPP Unit 1 and Daya Bay Unit 2 have safely operated for over 4,200 and 3,000 consecutive days respectively, ranking first and third among similar units worldwide.

Among the total of 72 performance indicators for the six units at the base, 47 nuclear operation indicators at the base reside in the world’s top quartile, with 43 in the world’s top decile in 2016, according to the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).

In addition, the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Base has won 36 first prizes in competitions held by Electricite de France (EDF) since it joined the contest in 1999, ranking first among similar units worldwide.

In the first half of this year, 82.92 percent of WANO indicators of CGN’s 20 operating units reached the world’s top quartile and 80.42 percent of WANO indicators fell into the world’s top decile.

And the Yangjiang NPP Unit 1 has safely operated for 1,000 days as of May 5, this year and its Units 2, 3 and 4 have realized zero-trip performance since the beginning of their commercial operations.

It serves a solid verification of CGN’s capability in design, manufacturing, and operations of nuclear power units.

As for the new bases and units, CGN has set a goal called “1930 program”, with “1” symbolizing the world’s top 1/10 (excellent level) of the WANO indicators, “9” referring to the average capacity factors of NPPs reaching 90 percent, ”3” standing for the average period for outage no more than 30 days and “0” indicating the “zero” unplanned shutdowns.

The detailed program covers more than 150 key action plans and 9 key projects, defining 5 key indicators and 23 measurement indexes.

The professional operation and management team of CGN effectively integrated the resources and distributed them reasonably to manage the overlapped outage of nuclear power units, according to Qin Yuxin, vice general manager of China Nuclear Power Operations Co.

The instant feedback of different bases can be shared among them thanks to a professional technical platform, which ensures the quality and time limit of a repair project.

The duration for the outage of Daya Bay Nuclear Power Base was shortened to 33 days from 51 days in the middle of 1990s. The duration for the first three outage projects of Ling Ao NPP Phase II equals that of the 11 outages that the Daya Bay NPP had went through.

What’s more, CGN has improved its competitiveness in spare parts supply, inventory optimization and personnel training.

CGN has always promoted the construction of core competitiveness, encouraging the frontline employees to make innovations for implementation process and tools, and increasing input on scientific research, so as to break the monopoly of foreign countries and improve the benefits.

It has developed several core technologies on NPP operations, such as the special maintenance for reactors, pump hydraulic parts and motor refurbishment, nuclear-grade automatic welding, nuclear fuel assembly repair, instrument panel detection, fault diagnosis and three-level maintenance, and turbine maintenance.

It obtained 34 patents in maintenance field, which have saved about 1 billion yuan ($151.97 million) for CGN’s NPPs.

Some devices and technologies, such as its independently developed tools for the zero-point adjustment and verification of pressurizer spray valve, help increase the efficiency of its repair.

All these achievements cannot be made without a group of engineers with the “craftsman spirit”— preciseness, diligence, and innovativeness.

Qiao Sukai, an engineer at CGN, is one of the first nuclear fuel operators in China. His 25-year-long devotion to China’s nuclear power industry was reported in an episode of the Masters of Their Craft television program which aired on CCTV on May 1 this year.

A total of 19 projects chaired or attended by him have secured national patents. The team he works for is the only technical group for special maintenance of nuclear fuel assemblies in China. It has finished more than 100 nuclear fuel handlings for 20 domestic nuclear power units without an error.

Feng Ping, nicknamed the “king of nuclear valves”, is another outstanding craftsman in CGN. His innovation saved 10 days for repair projects for NPP, worth 96 million-yuan economic benefits. He receives the special government allowance awarded by the State Council and was honored as “Craftsman of Shenzhen”.

Wang Jiantao, a senior engineer of electrical generator, has worked in the frontline for more than 20 years. He made a group of breakthroughs in his field and won numerous honorary titles.

On April 6, a workshop named after him opened to cultivate more masters of nuclear power equipment maintenance.