China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has successfully completed the Hot Functional Tests (HFTs) at the 1100 MW K2 unit at the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP).
KANUPP’s K2 is based on Hualong One technology, China’s indigenous pressurized water nuclear reactor design that is going to be the mainstream nuclear technology in the years to come. Also known as HPR1000, Hualong One technology is a third-generation nuclear reactor design with the highest acceptability in the current nuclear power market.
According to the official statement from CNNC, the successful HFTs will allow CNNC to initiate subsequent major processes at the K2 including nuclear fuel loading and grid-connected power generation.
The HFTs play a significant role in the construction of the nuclear power project, simulating the actual operating conditions of the nuclear power plant to verify the reliability of the main equipment and systems under the thermal conditions before the nuclear reactor is loaded with nuclear fuel.
CNNC is building two 1100 MW Hualong One reactors at KANUPP; K2 and K3. The construction of K2 and K3 reactors had started in 2015 and 2016 respectively. CNNC had installed the Hualong One reactors’ internals at K2 and K3 in January 2019 and April 2020 respectively. On 31 August, it successfully concluded the main structure of the K3 unit after the installation of the outer containment dome. K2 will become operational next year while K3 a year later.
Both K2 and K3 units will have a design life of 60 years and account for 10% of Pakistan’s total power generation capacity.
Besides Karachi, CNNC is constructing 2 Hualong One reactors each in China at Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant in Fujian and Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Plant in Guangxi. Whereas, 1 Hualong One reactor each is being built at Zhangzhou Nuclear Power Plant in Fujian and Taipingling Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong.
Moreover, China General Nuclear (CGN) is also constructing 4 Hualong One reactors in China.
China is aiming to increase its presence in the nuclear power sector around the world. It hopes to construct Hualong One reactors in South America and England in the years to come.
China developed the Hualong One reactor to rival US-made AP1000 and European-made Evolutionary Pressurized Reactor. Hualong One reactor is better than both of the US and European-made reactors in terms of technology and cost.