China Completes Big Nuclear Reactor and Will Start Small Modular Reactor Project

China’s sixth nuclear reactor at Yangjiang is now operational and is the 48th nuclear reactor in operation in China.

The 1000 MWe CGN-designed ACPR1000 pressurised water reactor achieved a sustained chain reaction for the first time (first criticality) on 22 June. Yangjiang 6 was connected to the electrical grid on 29 June.

Yangjiang 6 becomes CGN’s 23rd power reactor in commercial operation, with a combined capacity of 25.39 GWe. It also has five units under construction with an installed capacity of 6.35 GWe.

The six units at Yangjiang will generate some 48 terawatt-hours of electricity annually. Compared with the equivalent generation using fossil fuels, the plant will reducing the consumption of standard coal by 14.83 million tonnes and carbon dioxide emissions by 38.78 million tonnes.

Each one-gigawatt reactor generates about 8 terawatt-hours per year and reduces China’s coal usage by nearly 2 million tons per year and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by almost 5 million tons per year.

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China Starting to Make Small Modular 125 MW Reactor in December 2019

China will start construction of a new small modular 125-megawatt reactor called ht ACP100 by the end of this year. It is a demonstration unit called the Linglong One design.

The first concrete for the Hainan project is to be poured on 31 December. Construction is expected to take 65 months, with the 125 MWe unit to start up by 31 May 2025, subject to relevant governmental approvals.

The ACP100 integrated pressurized water reactor (PWR) design has been under development since 2010.

It is a multi-purpose reactor designed for electricity production, heating, steam production or seawater desalination. In 2016, the design became the first SMR to pass a safety review by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The ACP100 was identified as a ‘key project’ in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan, and is developed from the larger ACP1000 PWR. The design, which has 57 fuel assemblies and integral steam generators, incorporates passive safety features and will be installed underground. In 2016, China announced plans to build a demonstration floating nuclear power plant based on the ACP100S variant of the CNNC design.

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