On August 25, 2018, at 19-20 (14-20 Moscow time) the first fuel assembly was loaded into the core of Tianwan NPP Unit 4 in China. 

“Today a significant milestone in the construction of Unit 4 of Tianwan NPP was achieved. Fuel loading is the commencement of the unit’s first criticality procedures. Unit 4 will then enter the start-up stage to be connected to the power grid of China, said Alexey Bannik, director for JSC ASE EC projects in China. We are planning to complete all the main stages by the end of the year, in accordance with the schedule”.

In total, 163 fuel assemblies (FA) are to be loaded into the reactor. Once the fuel loading and the starting up and adjustment works are complete, the unit will be brought to minimum controllable power level (MCL), followed by the power start-up.

The second stage of Tianwan NPP (power Units 3 and 4) is being implemented with the assistance of JSC ASE (Rosatom State Corporation Engineering Division). Currently, three VVER-1000 power units constructed under the Russian design, are operational at Tianwan NPP.

“The first stage of Tianwan NPP, Units 1 and 2, have been demonstrating its efficiency for over 10 years. In 2017 the power units generated over 17 million MW/h into the power grid of the country, with the capacity factor of each unit exceeding 90% – a record for reactors like these,” said Valery Kedrov, deputy director of St. Petersburg designing institute for Tianwan NPP.

Tianwan NPP is the largest facility built within the framework the Russian-Chinese economic cooperation. The commissioning of the first stage of Tianwan NPP 

(Units 1, 2) was held in 2007. The start-up of Tianwan NPP Unit 3 took place in December 2017.

On June 8, 2018 a strategic package of documents determining the main areas of cooperation between Russia and China in the field of nuclear power for the forthcoming decades was signed in Beijing. In particular, four new power units with VVER-1200 Gen 3+ reactors will be built: Units 7 and 8 of Tianwan NPP with VVER 1200 reactors and 2 power units at the new site Xudapu.