San­men nu­clear unit on­line this year

Of­fi­cials say land­mark project in Zhe­jiang is firmly on track

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By LYUCHANG lvchang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The world’s first unit us­ing West­ing­house Elec­tric Com­pany LLC’s AP1000 nu­clear re­ac­tor de­sign is ex­pected to be on­line this year in China, with a sec­ond unit op­er­a­tional by June next year, nu­clear of­fi­cials said onWed­nes­day.

Wang Jun, chief en­gi­neer of State Power In­vest­ment Corp, said if ev­ery­thing goes smoothly, the San­men one unit in Zhe­jiang prov­ince will be op­er­at­ing in 2016, while cold test­ing at Haiyang nu­clear power plant in Shan­dong prov­ince will start in June, which will be con­nected to the grid in Fe­bru­ary next year.

A to­tal of six nu­clear re­ac­tor units are planned for the San­men project, which is be­ing built in three stages.

Wang was speak­ing at the 14th China In­ter­na­tional Nu­clear In­dus­try Exhibition, and 20thPa­cific Bas­inNu­clear Con­fer­ence, be­ing held in Bei­jing.

The State-owned com­pany was cre­ated last year with a merger be­tween China Power In­vest­ment Corp and State Nu­clear Power Tech­nol­ogy Corp, West­ing­house’s long­stand­ing part­ner in China.

Build­ing started in 2009 on the first AP1000 unit in China, a type of third-gen­er­a­tion nu­clear tech­nol­ogy de­vel­oped byWest­ing­house.

But the project was de­layed for more than three years, be­cause of the prob­lems of some key com­po­nents as well as the im­pact of the Ja­pan’s Fukushima dis­as­ter, which put a pause on the global nu­clear in­dus­try in gen­eral.

Gavin Liu, pres­i­dent in Asia forWest­ing­house, said de­spite the de­lay, the project is now firmly on track.

“It is a very ex­cit­ing time for us,” he said.

“The coolant pumps ar­rived for the two re­ac­tor units last year and the plant at San­men is to load its fuel soon,” he said.

China is em­bark­ing on a mas­sive pro­gram of nu­clear power plant con­struc­tion with ap­provals al­ready given for up to eight newre­ac­tors an­nu­ally.

The coun­try is also de­vel­op­ing its own nu­clear tech­nol­ogy, the Hua­long One rec­tor, a ri­val third-gen­er­a­tion de­sign de­vel­oped by China Na­tional Nu­clear Corp and China Gen­eral Nu­clear Power Group, two ma­jor nu­clear play­ers.

Com­ment­ing on the com­pe­ti­tion with Hua­long One, Jim Bren­nan, se­nior vi­cepres­i­dent of engi­neer­ing cen­ter of ex­cel­lence at West­ing­house, said it rec­og­nizes other nu­clear de­signs ex­ist in the world, but that its long track record al­lows it to com­pete with its ri­vals.

“Com­pe­ti­tion is not some­thing new to us. The AP1000, with its pas­sive safety sys­tem, stands out in terms of the eco­nomics in­volved,” he said.

Liu added Turkey, Bul­garia, some coun­tries in South Amer­ica and Asia, are all con­sid­ered tar­get mar­kets for the AP1000 de­sign.

In 2014, West­ing­house signed an agree­ment for ex­clu­sive ne­go­ti­a­tions with SNPTC and the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment to de­velop and con­struct a four-unit AP1000 nu­clear power sta­tion in Turkey.

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