After 168 hours of test operation, Unit 6 of the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant, in Northeast China's Liaoning Province, received the qualification for commercial operation, marking an important milestone with all the six units of the first nuclear power plant in the northeast of the country is fully operational, according to media reports.
Starting construction in August 2007, the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant uses nuclear power technology developed by the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) in the four power units of its phase one project. The phase one project was put into commercial operation in September 2016, according to a financial report by sina.com.cn.
Construction of the phase two project of units 5 and 6 started in 2016 and used CGN's third generation nuclear power technology.
With Unit 6 also ready for commercial operation, the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant has become the largest operational nuclear power plant in China with a total installed capacity exceeding 6.71 million kilowatts.
According to the report, power generated by the plant has maintained an rising trend in the 10 years of the its operation. In 2021, the nuclear plant's power generation hit a record of 37.2 billion kilowatts.
In particular, Hongyanhe's five nuclear power units worked at full capacity in last autumn, largely contributing to stabilizing northeastern China's regional power supply.
China experienced a wave of power shortages in 2021, halting production at many factories. The country has also seen a recent surge in power consumption in certain provinces due to warmer-than-normal weather.
According to the report, the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant can generate 48 billion kilowatts annually with Unit 6 now online, accounting for about 20 percent of Liaoning's total power consumption
The Hongyanhe plant will also provide heating to local residents, according to media reports. In March, the Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Company signed a cooperation agreement with China's State Power Investment Northeast Electric Power Company on the construction, operation and maintenance of a key nuclear heating demonstration project based on the nuclear plant.
The project is expected to provide heating to an area of 242,400 square meters in the town of Hongyanhe this winter.