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Hinkley Point boosted by Chinese nuclear progress


The reactor technology which will be used in the controversial Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant has been connected to the grid and has started generating power in China.

The European pressurised reactor (EPR) now in use in China is the world’s first to be connected to a power grid and to generate electricity.

The new reactor is the same type as the one to be used at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

The Chinese reactor is in use at the Taishan nuclear power station, Unit 1 of which started construction in 2009, followed by Unit 2 in 2010. The two units are the third and fourth EPR units under construction globally.

The plant is 70% owned by Chinese nuclear giant CNG group and 30% owned by French energy company EDF. CGN said the plant was the largest jointly owned Chinese and French infrastructure project in the world.


Taishan Nuclear Reactor

CGN said extensive testing had been carried out before the Chinese plant was connected to the grid. It will continue to undergo a number of further tests and go through an operational assessment at full power before entering commercial service. This is expected to be later this year.

CGN chief executive Zheng Dongshan said: “Safe and efficient connection of the new Taishan 1 reactor to the grid is a major step forward in China, but is also important for the UK, where the same EPR technology will be used at Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C.

“The fact that an EPR power station has been linked to the electricity network for the first time reinforces our strong confidence in this reactor technology and in the HPC project as a whole.”

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