China’s new nuclear power plant installs key component

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Beijing, March 20 (IANS) A key component of China’s first fourth-generation nuclear energy system was installed in a plant in Shandong province on Sunday.

The pressure vessel of a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) was put in place at the Huaneng Shidao Bay nuclear power plant, Xinhua reported.

The cylindrical vessel, 25 metres high and weighing 610 tonnes, is the biggest, heaviest and most complicated pressure vessel for a nuclear reactor, according to a statement from Huaneng Shandong Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Co. (HSNPC), the plant’s builder and operator.

In line with the fourth-generation concept, the reactor can shut down safely in the event of an emergency without causing a reactor core meltdown or large leak of radioactive material.

With a designed capacity of 200 MW, the reactor will start generating power by the end of 2017.

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It is predicted that 91 percent of the equipment in the plant will come from Chinese companies, said He Yunsheng, general manager of HSNPC.

“The high-temperature gas-cooled reactor represents the latest technology. It will greatly raise China’s capacity in nuclear power plants and boost export,” said He.

China has inked memoranda of understanding with Saudi Arabia and the UAE on co-construction of HTGR nuclear power plants.

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