18:00 GMT29 September 2020
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    China's domestically-produced nuclear technology received a major push on Friday as the Hualong One reactor completed fuel loading for the first time in Unit 5 at the Fuqing nuclear power plant. China is in line to surpass France as the second nuclear generator in the world by 2022 and may claim the top spot, replacing the US, a few years later.

    The K2 unit at the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant in Pakistan has successfully completed Hot Functional Tests (HFT), as per the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). Karachi is the first overseas unit using China's Hualong One technology. The thermal testing will be followed by nuclear fuel loading and grid-connected power generation. 

    The HFT, spread over several weeks, includes simulating nuclear power plant operations to verify reliability of the main equipment and systems under thermal conditions before the reactor is loaded with nuclear fuel. The outer containment dome of the K3 unit was successfully installed, resulting in completion of the nuclear power plant on August 31.

    In China, the number 5 unit of the Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant started nuclear fuel loading on 4 September after receiving an operating license from the nation's Ministry of Ecology & Environment. Six units with Hualong One technology, or HPR1000, are under construction at home and abroad.

    A nuclear reactor and related factilities as part of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, to be operated by China Guangdong Nuclear Power (CGN), is seen under construction in Taishan, Guangdong province
    © REUTERS / Bobby Yip
    A nuclear reactor and related factilities as part of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, to be operated by China Guangdong Nuclear Power (CGN), is seen under construction in Taishan, Guangdong province
    Unity 5 in Fuqing is the world's first pilot project using China's domestically-manufactured third-generation nuclear power technology. The successful completion of third-generation reactors would mean a nuclear revival in China.

    With 49 gigawatts of nuclear power installed as of 2019, GlobalData Plc has predicted that it will pass France as the world's number two nuclear generator in 2022 and claim the top spot from the US by 2026.

    Pakistan has five fully functional nuclear power plants and two under construction, making for a total of 1430 MW of nuclear capacity. The K2 nuclear power plant is being constructed by the China National Nuclear Corporation.

     

    Related:

    What's Behind China's Breakthrough in Atomic Energy Production
    China Develops First Hualong One Nuclear Reactor
    Mysterious Gas Leak That Killed 14 Close to Pakistani Nuclear Power Plant Sparks 'Chernobyl' Fears
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    Karachi, nuclear plant, China, Pakistan
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