A key nuclear research project for China is the demonstration Shidaowan HTR-PM. It will have 210 MWe (two reactor modules, each of 250 MWt) which is being built at Shidaowan in Shandong province, driving a single steam turbine at about 40% thermal efficiency. It is now expected to be completed in 2015.
IAEA (Aug 2012 report) – In China, an industrial scale modular demonstration plant called the high temperature reactor –pebble bed module (HTR-PM) is at an advanced stage of development. An owner company has been established, and components such as the primary system pressure vessels, steam generators, reactor internals and helium blowers are being manufactured. The site has been prepared, and first concrete will be poured once approval is received from the authorities.
Next step after the 2015 completion of the 210 MWe unit
A 600 MWe Multi-Module HTR-PM Supercritical Steam Turbine Plant, (6×250 MWt
HTR-PM module+ 1×660 MWe steam turbine)
* standardize the reactor module,
* is inherently safe and competitive,
* and usable for co-generation.
The HTR-PM will pave the way for 18 (Six of the 660 MWe triple unit modules) further 210 MWe units at the same site in Weihai city – total 3800 MWe – also with steam cycle.
HTR-PM possesses inherent safety, broad application, not only electricity, but also nonelectricity
* The HTR-PM demonstration plant project is on the track as planned.
* However challenges still exist: 1st of its kind components, verification tests, fuel element, risk management……
The way to cost effective HTR-PM plants
*Adopt multiple NSSS modules and one turbine generator for one plant to achieve large capacity;
* Reduce the costs of RPVs and reactor internals through mass production;
* Share auxiliary systems in one plant;
* Reduce the workload of design and engineering management;
* Shorten construction schedule.
Costs of HTR-PM
* The cost issue is one of the focus in the project.
* More than 90% (in costs) of the equipments has been ordered through bidding process. There is a detailed costs databank for HTR-PM and also the PWR projects currently under construction in China.
* The conclusion which was accepted is: with partial support of the capital cost and 100% of the R and D cost from government, the HTR-PM demonstration plant will achieve the specific capital cost and generation costs similar to the current PWR in the Chinese market.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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