In 2019, China should complete floating mobile nuclear reactors to power drilling platforms in the ocean to expedite exploitation of oil, natural gas and combustible ice. A Pentagon report believes China will use floating nuclear reactors to power islands and reefs in the South China Sea.
The cost of diesel generation in the sea is 2 yuan per kilowatt hour, while the cost of nuclear generation could be as low as 0.9 yuan. Also, there will not be the need a vulnerable diesel fuel supply chain to islands.
China could build 20 floating nuclear stations for bases and oil and gas operations across the South China Sea.
Russia launched its floating nuclear reactor in April, 2018. Russia willl use it in the Far East and the Arctic coast off Chukotka. It is expected to go into service in 2019. It will power a port town, oil rigs and a desalination plant. The twin reactors are expected to provide up to 200,000 people with electricity.
CNNC partnered in 2015 with Lloyd’s Register for regulatory support in developing a sea-based, 100-megawatt version of its ACP100 reactor.
China National Nuclear Power (CNNP) is partnering with Chinese shipyards and electric machinery companies to develop a $150 million project.
The ACPR100 and ACPR50S, both with passive cooling for decay heat and 60-year design life. Both have standard type fuel assemblies and fuel enriched to less than 5% with burnable poison giving 30-month refueling. The ACPR100 is an integral PWR, 450 MWt, 140 MWe, having 69 fuel assemblies. Reactor pressure vessel is 17m high and 4.4 m inside diameter, operating at 310°C. It is designed as a module in larger plant and would be installed underground. The applications for these are similar to those for the ACP100.
The offshore ACPR50S is 200 MWt, 60 MWe with 37 fuel assemblies and four external steam generators. Reactor pressure vessel is 7.4 meter high and 2.5 meter inside diameter, operating at 310°C. It is designed for mounting on a barge as floating nuclear power plant (FNPP). Following approval as part of the 13th Five-Year Plan for innovative energy technologies, CGN announced construction start on the first FNPP at Bohai shipyard in November 2016 for trial operation in 2019, supplying power and desalination.
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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