China’s 1400 megawatt nuclear reactor design passes international safety review

China’s CAP1400 reactor design has successfully passed the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) Generic Reactor Safety Review (GRSR).

The CAP1400 is an enlarged version of the AP1000 pressurized water reactor developed from the Westinghouse original by SNPTC with consulting input from the Toshiba-owned company. As one of China’s 16 strategic projects under its National Science and Technology Development Plan, the CAP1400 is intended to be deployed in large numbers across the country. The reactor design may also be exported.

International use of the CAP1400 is still dependent on meeting country-specific standards and requirements, but passing the IAEA safety review will make this process easier.

In September 2014, the Chinese nuclear regulator approved the preliminary safety analysis report of the CAP1400 reactor design following a 17-month review. The National Nuclear Safety Administration’s safety review involved more than 260 experts, 30 meetings to discuss it and responding to more than 5000 questions, according to SNPTC. As a result of the review, more than 1000 work orders were drawn up.

Site preparation is already underway for two demonstration CAP1400 units at Huaneng Group’s Shidaowan site in Shandong province. The pouring of first concrete is expected to take place soon.