Sanmen Nuclear Power Station

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Sanmen Nuclear Power Station
Sanmen Nuclear Power Station.jpg
LocationSanmen County, Taizhou, Zhejiang
Coordinates29°6′4″N 121°38′31″E / 29.10111°N 121.64194°E / 29.10111; 121.64194Coordinates: 29°6′4″N 121°38′31″E / 29.10111°N 121.64194°E / 29.10111; 121.64194
Construction beganUnit 1: April 19, 2009
Unit 2: December 15, 2009
Commission dateUnit 1: September 21, 2018
Unit 2: November 5, 2018
Construction cost50 billion yuan (7.3 billion USD) for the whole two AP1000 reactor plant [1]
Owner(s)China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) [2]
Operator(s)Sanmen Nuclear Power[2]
(subsidiary of CNNC)[3]
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR
Reactor supplierWestinghouse
Cooling sourceShefan Channel
Thermal capacity2 × 3400 MWth (operational)
Power generation
Units operational2 × 1157 MW
Make and modelWestinghouse AP1000
Units planned2 × 1100 MW
Nameplate capacity2314 MW
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

The Sanmen Nuclear Power Station (Chinese: 三门核电站) is a nuclear power station in Sanmen County, Zhejiang, China. Sanmen is the first implementation of the AP1000 pressurized water reactor (PWR) developed by Westinghouse Electric Company.


The contract for the plant was agreed in July 2007.[4] Announcement of the project start came roughly twelve months after Westinghouse won a bidding contest over other companies. The contract for the new plant involved The Shaw Group (now Chicago Bridge and Iron), a minority shareholder in Westinghouse. Westinghouse was controlled by Japanese Toshiba. The Shaw Group did provide engineering, procurement, commissioning, information management and project management services.[4]

The first pair of reactors were estimated to cost CNY 32.4 billion yuan, later estimates in 2013 gave figures of CNY 40.1 billion ($6.12 billion USD).[5] The final sum was CNY 10 billion yuan higher.[6]

Groundbreaking for the first and second units was held February 26, 2008.[7][8] Excavation for the first unit was completed in September 2008. Quality of the pit was certified, putting the project 67 days ahead of schedule.[9] Construction of Sanmen Unit 1 began on April 19, 2009, as the first 5,200  of concrete were poured for the foundation, in a ceremony attended by State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) chair Wang Binghua and Westinghouse CEO Aris Candris.[10][11] First concrete for Sanmen 2 was poured on December 15, 2009.[12]

In June 2014, China First Heavy Industries completed the first domestically produced AP1000 reactor pressure vessel for the second AP1000 unit.[13]

The units were originally projected to begin operation in 2014 and 2015. In April 2015, a start date of 2016 was projected for both.[14] One month later, the start date was put back to 2017.[15][16] In January 2017 China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced that the final reactor coolant pump had been installed with start of operations still foreseen for 2017.[17] As of March 2018, Sanmen 1 had completed pre-fuelling safety checks but was not expected to be connected to the grid until the fall of 2018 at the earliest.[18] Hot testing of Sanmen 1 was completed in June 2017, and fuel loading started on April 25, 2018. It subsequently became the first AP1000 reactor in the world to achieve first criticality at 2:09 AM on June 21, 2018,[19] and was connected to the grid on June 30, 2018.[20] Sanmen Unit 1 entered into commercial operation on September 21, 2018.[21]

Sanmen Unit 2 achieved first criticality on August 17, 2018 and was connected to the grid on August 24, 2018. Full-power demonstration testing was completed on November 5, 2018, and the unit is now considered to be in commercial operation.[22]

In March 2019 Sanmen Unit 2 shut down because of a reactor coolant pump defect, with the root cause still under investigation.[23] A replacement pump has been shipped from the United States by Curtiss-Wright. There have been previous problems with these pumps with impeller blade quality, which involved the return of three pumps to the U.S. in 2013.[24][25]

Reactor data[edit]

The Sanmen Nuclear Power Plant consist of 2 operational reactors.

Unit Type Construction start First criticality Grid connection Commercial operation Notes
Phase I
Sanmen 1 AP1000 April 19, 2009 June 21, 2018[26] June 30, 2018[20] September 21, 2018[21] [27]
Sanmen 2 AP1000 December 15, 2009 August 17, 2018[28] August 24, 2018 November 5, 2018[22] [27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Proctor, Darrell (20 September 2018). "AP1000 Reactor Set for Commercial Operation in China". POWER magazine. Access Intelligence. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Nuclear Power Reactor Details – SANMEN 1". Power Reactor Information System (PRIS). International Atomic Energy Agency. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  3. ^ 浙江三门核电站 [Zhejiang Sanmen Nuclear Power Station] (in Chinese). China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Corporation. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Westinghouse and Shaw Sign Historic Contracts to Provide Four AP1000 Nuclear Power Plants in China". Business Wire. 24 July 2007. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  5. ^ "China Nuclear Power | Chinese Nuclear Energy – World Nuclear Association". World Nuclear Association. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  6. ^ Dalton, David (September 2018-09-21). "China's Sanmen-1 Becomes World's First AP1000 Reactor To Begin Commercial Operation". NucNet. Retrieved 2019-12-27. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ "First 3rd-generation nuclear plant to be built". Xinhua News Agency. 27 February 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  8. ^ "Nuclear power in China". Information Papers: Country Briefings. World Nuclear Association (WNA). June 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  9. ^ "Sanmen excavation completed early". World Nuclear News. 2 September 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  10. ^ "1st phase of Sanmen nuclear plant under construction in E China Archived 2009-04-23 at the Wayback Machine". Xinhua. April 19, 2009.
  11. ^ "First concrete at Sanmen". World Nuclear News. WNA. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  12. ^ "Sanmen 2 under construction". World Nuclear News. WNA. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  13. ^ "China produces first AP1000 vessel". World Nuclear News. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  14. ^ "Steam generator installation under way at Sanmen 2". World Nuclear News. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Newbuild: CNNC Reveals New Delay at Sanmen -- to 2017". Nuclear Intelligence Group. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  16. ^ "More delays for China's first AP1000". Nuclear Engineering International. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Construction milestones at new Chinese units". World Nuclear News. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Nuclear News Weekly Roundup – 02/25 – 03/04".
  19. ^ "Chinese AP1000s pass commissioning milestones". 22 June 2018. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  20. ^ a b "First Westinghouse AP1000 Plant Sanmen 1 Begins Synchronization to Electrical Grid". Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  21. ^ a b "First AP1000 reactor enters commercial operation – World Nuclear News". World Nuclear Association. 21 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Sanmen 2 AP1000 enters commercial operation – World Nuclear News". World Nuclear Association. 6 November 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  23. ^ "CURTISS-WRIGHT PROVIDES UPDATE ON AP1000 REACTOR COOLANT PUMPS". Curtiss-Wright Corporation. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019. At this time, the root-cause of this situation, presently limited to a single RCP, is unknown and we are in the process of evaluating the cause(s) in conjunction with Westinghouse and China.
  24. ^ "US-designed Chinese nuclear reactor forced to shut by pump defect". Platts. S&P Global. 14 March 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2019. China's Sanmen-2 nuclear reactor, the third US-designed Westinghouse AP1000 unit to begin operating in the world, has been shut temporarily because of a defect in a reactor coolant pump, which is being replaced, a top Chinese nuclear regulator said Thursday. A replacement reactor coolant pump has been shipped from the US ... The pumps were manufactured by US-based Curtiss-Wright. During construction of the Sanmen and Haiyang units in China, several of the pumps were returned from China to the US for repairs after a defect was discovered that resulted in localized heating of the pumps.
  25. ^ "AP1000 pumps China-bound again". World Nuclear News. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  26. ^ "PRIS – Reactor Details – SANMEN-1". Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  27. ^ a b "Hot testing of Sanmen 2 AP1000 completed". Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  28. ^ "Commissioning milestones at Chinese AP1000s – World Nuclear News". Retrieved 18 August 2018.

External links[edit]