BEIJING — China’s first demonstration nuclear power project using Hualong One technology, a domestically developed third-generation reactor design, is taking shape, with its containment dome expected to be installed within the next two days.
Yu Peigen, deputy general manager of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), said at a press conference on May 24 that its No 5 unit in Fuqing in East China’s Fujian province is ready for dome installation, which is slated for on May 25 or May 26.
A hemispherical dome, weighing 340 tonnes and 16.8 meters in diameter, will be installed by crane on the reactor featuring Hualong One design, according to Yang Ming, a member of the project management.
The dome will be used for protection against nuclear accidents under extreme conditions, and both its design and installation are very demanding processes.
Yang said the exact date would depend on weather conditions.
“The installation, if successful, will mark the completion of the construction work of the pilot and the beginning of the assembling stage,” Yu said.
Started in May 2015, the pilot should take about 62 months to finish. Yu said the equipment manufacturing and construction work was on schedule.
He was confident that with continued improvement in risk control and project management, the first Hualong One project will be completed on time, although projects for other third-generation nuclear technologies have all faced delays in construction.
The Hualong One reactor was jointly designed by two nuclear power giants, China General Nuclear Power Group and CNNC, and passed inspection by a national panel in August 2014.
The government has since approved the use of Hualong One technology to build two reactors in Fujian province, one being the No 5 unit.
The country has actively promoted Hualong One at home and abroad. There are now four projects using Hualong One design under construction, including two reactors in Karachi, Pakistan.
During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation earlier this month, the CNNC also signed a cooperation framework agreement with Argentina, a key emerging market for Chinese companies, which included using the Hualong One design for the country’s fifth nuclear unit.
Yu said the CNNC would like to provide domestic clean energy solutions globally, as the company has both the technology and experience for overseas construction, operation and maintenance of nuclear projects.
Up to 85 percent of the Hualong One equipment is domestically manufactured, including core devices such as the reactor pressure vessel and steam generator, ensuring that Hualong One is safe and economical, according to Yu.
Xing Ji, chief designer of Hualong One, said the model incorporates unique safety designs that are able to deal with threats from extreme external damage such as the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Yu said the state-owned CNNC is ready to scale up production and construction of Hualong One reactors in accordance with government planning if the pilot projects are carried out smoothly.
There will also be new Hualong models as progress is made in new experience, new concepts and technological breakthroughs, he said.
China plans to reach 58 million kilowatts of installed nuclear capacity by 2020.