Rod Adams, atomic insights notes – If you look back into history, you will find an example of a country with a population (203 million) that was about 15% of China’s current population that managed to complete more than 100 large nuclear plants in about 20 years. The GDP PPP was 3.6 trillion in year 2000 dollar equivalents. The US economy was 3 to 4 times smaller than the chinese economy now and on a per capita basis were making three times more than people in China now. The early US reactors had small staff that came from coal plants.
Big Rock Point, fifth US nuclear reactor, operated from the mid-sixties to the mid-nineties. In April 1960, Hausler, assistant manager of a Consumers’ coal plant, was offered the position of manager of the new plant. He recalls, “Practically all the staff was from coal plants. We had a nuclear engineer and health physics supervisor, but no one else had any nuclear background. Some of us went through a postgraduate type class at the University of Michigan during the summer of 1960, learning reactor theory and getting hands-on experience on the university’s reactor.” Other workers took similar courses at a junior college. Some also went to training offered by General Electric in California and to Dresden Station Unit 1 and Yankee Rowe for additional experience.
Pat Donnelly, now on loan to the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, was named plant manager in 1993. He recalls, “When I came to the plant as an auxiliary operator in 1969, there were 49 people, one secretary, no copy machines and no security
Nuclear power may make up 7 percent of the China’s 1,600 gW electricity generation capacity by then, Geng Zhicheng, senior researcher at NDRC’s Energy Research Institute, said at a conference in Beijing on Monday.
China’s nuclear capacity target for 2020 was 70 gW, Zhang Guobao, head of the National Energy Administration, said in May.
Previously we mentioned there was a rumor that China would raise its nuclear capacity target for 2020 to 117 GWe.
SNTPC announced early 2010 that ten supply-chain companies had qualified to provide equipment for Generation III nuclear plants. One is CFHI, among just three steel firms worldwide in having a 15 000 tonne press for large forgings such as Generation III pressure vessels.
The SNTPTC experts are confident that China can build the capacity and quality produce all the components for Generation III reactors locally. Three bases have been established – in northeast China, in Shanghai, and in Sichuan – for the manufacturing of heavy equipment including steam generators and forgings.
These will initially give a capacity of four complete sets of heavy equipment per annum, to be expanded first to five and then incrementally to eight. Areva’s Rolland welcomes the extra capacity, pointing out that Areva’s current capacity is insufficient to meet all the potential contracts in the world, creating a gap that the Chinese supply chain could bridge.
Asked about quality assurance, Shen and Lin acknowledged that the manufacturing failure rates are higher than in the West, but said that they are improving. Lin says, “The cooling pump is the most difficult part. However domestic manufacture has now started and it will get better.”
China’s issues for 112 GWe by 2020 and 70 GWe by 2020 are similar.
They are counting on modularization and localization.
In terms of staffing, they double up on staff in the current plants so that you get on the job training with a shadow workforce.
The AP1000 technology transfer is going on in parallel with current construction at Sanmen and Haiyang. Westinghouse is transferring around 60 000 documents and providing training classes to a range of Chinese scientists and technicians. It also established a job shadowing programme where 120 core operating staff at the four stations spend two months doing internships at operating US nuclear power plants.
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