First EPR Reactor in China

China General Nuclear

The first EPR reactor on the planet was finished in China in June. This third generation reactor is located about 50 km south of Hong Kong in Taishan and is set to power the city of Canton in the province Guangdong by this summer. It will slowly increase in power and undergo tests before being hooked up to the electrical grid. A second Taishan reactor will be hooked up to the grid in 2019.

This reactor is a real victory for China as work on it began in 2009 and it was completed before the yet-unfinished Finish reactor in Olkiluoto (started in 2005) and French reactor in Flamanville (started in 2007).

Both EPR were sold to China by the French company Areva in 2007 and are the product of a French-Chinese partnership that began in the eighties. This cooperation was continued in the form of the Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited, a joint venture owned a by China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) at 70% and by EDF at 30%.

EPR reactors have much higher security than second generation reactors, with a double concrete shell and a receptacle to recover highly radioactive elements in the event of a core meltdown.

About the Author

Monica Hutchings is a Canadian writer and translator from Toronto who has worked on everything from technical descriptions to academic journals. She is our in-house copy editor.

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