China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) announced that Hongyanhe 2 reached criticality on 24 October. Work began on the 1080 MWe Chinese-designed CPR-1000 reactor in Liaoning province in 2008. Hongyanhe 1, also a 1080 MWe CPR-1000, began commercial operation earlier this year. Work is also under way on two further CPR-1000s at the site.
Meanwhile, work has begun to load nuclear fuel into the first of four CPR-1000s under construction at Yangjiang in Guangdong province. The unit has been undergoing pressure tests since construction work was completed in June. Systems including diesel back-up generators have also been tested, and safety exercises including emergency drills were completed at the plant prior to it receiving regulatory permission to commence fuel loading.
Work began on Yangjiang 1 in 2008, with units 2-4 following in in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Work began earlier this year on Yangjiang 5, the first of two CPR-1000+ units - a more advanced version of the CPR-1000 design - planned for the site, making Yangjiang the largest nuclear construction site in the world. Unit number 6 is slated to start construction in 2014, and all six reactors should be in operation by 2018."