China Will Be Making Bigger Localized AP1000 Reactors

China a will build a 1.4 GW reactor starting in 2013 that will expand on the Westinghouse AP1000 design — a simplified, “advanced passive” (AP) design that reduces the need for human action in the event of an accident.

Westinghouse, based in Cranberry, is building the first of four AP1000 nuclear-power plants for China under an agreement signed in 2007. Westinghouse finished its first major concrete pour Thursday on the first plant, which is scheduled to come on line in 2013.

Westinghouse is slated to build six, AP1000 plants in the United States, he said. The first one would come on line in 2016.

Westinghouse, which was acquired by Japan’s Toshiba Group in 2006, has received orders worth $9.8 billion to build the four AP1000 plants in China.

The power plant, to be located in Weihai, a coastal city in eastern China’s Shandong province, would start operating by late 2017, it said.

After the CAP1400 project, work on another CAP1700 project, which uses similar technology but with larger capacity of 1,700 mW, will begin, according to SNPTC.

Both projects still need the final approval of the government, according to the company.

“Construction of such demonstration projects will bring technology upgrades to China’s nuclear power industry, which is vital to the future of the sector,” said Tang Zide, an expert with SNPTC.

Reactors using the indigenous technology can have larger capacity than those with AP1000 technology, said Tang. What’s more, several components of the reactor have been improved with domestic technology.

China is now putting much focus on the use of advanced technology in the country’s nuclear power industry. The country decided to use the AP1000 technology to build four reactors. Two of these are in Sanmen in Zhejiang province and the others are in Haiyang, Shandong province.

The four reactors are also the first in the world to use the third generation technology. So far, construction of three has already started, two in Sanmen and one in Haiyang.

Taishan Areva EPR
Construction of the first-phase project of Taishan nuclear power plant started on the morning of December 21. Four pressurized water reactor (PWR) nuclear power units are scheduled to be built for the project and it is planned to have a total of six electricity generating units in the future. Currently, the government has approved building two units in the first phase project. The two power generating units have the world’s largest single-unit installed capacity of 1.75 million kW.

The project adopts the advanced third-generation European pressurized water reactor (EPR) technology, which was jointly designed and developed by France’s Areva Group and Germany’s Siemens Company. Double-layer safety shells and four security design programs are adopted to ensure a higher security level after taking severe accident prevention and mitigation measures into full consideration.

According to the project plans, the No. 1 unit will be put into operation and generate electricity to the power grid in December 2013 and the No. 2 unit is scheduled to be put into operation in October 2014. After the two units are built, they will generate about 26 billion kW/h of electricity to the power grid annually, which is capable of meeting the electricity demand of a medium-sized city and will yield an output of more than 12 billion yuan.