Certification of first nuclear power plant in China extended to operate till 2041
Published: Sep 13, 2021 05:58 PM
Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant

Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant

Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant, the first nuclear power plant in Chinese mainland, was approved to extend its operation certification through to 2041, according to the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the operator of the power plant, in a statement through its official WeChat account on Monday. The renewal will have a far-reaching impact on achieving China's carbon neutral goal by 2060, and setting up a comprehensive nuclear license renewal system in China, said CNNC.

With the approval of China's National Nuclear Safety Administration, the operation license of the first unit of Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant has been extended to July 30, 2041, the website of China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment said.

Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant in Jiaxing, East China's Zhejiang province, is the first nuclear power plant completely designed and built by a domestic Chinese firm. The first unit of the nuclear power plant, with an installed capacity of 300,000 kilowatts, was connected to the grid in 1991 and has an unblemished safety record.

Currently Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant has nine units, with a total installed capacity of 6.6 million kilowatts. 

The plant is so far the largest nuclear power facility in China, in terms of the number of nuclear power units, comprehensive reactor types and nuclear power operation and management personnel. It has 735 patents, including 65 domestic standards patents and 2 international ones.

The nuclear power plant has played a significant role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and advancing a nationwide energy transition.

As of August 30, 2021, the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant has generated 670 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity which is equivalent to reducing the consumption of 213 million tons of standard coal and 640 million tons of carbon dioxide. 

It is standard international practice to extend the validity of nuclear power plant operating license. According to data from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), at the end of 2020, the world had 442 nuclear power units in operation, 104 of which have been in continuous operation for more than 40 years. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) had approved 90 units to extend operations by the end of 2020.