Function tests of the containment vessel access hatch for China’s demonstration CAP1400 unit to be built at Shidaowan in Shandong province were completed on 5 July. The access hatch allows for large components and equipment to be moved into the containment building during the construction of a reactor and is also used during refuelling outages.
The CAP1400 is an enlarged version of the Westinghouse AP1000 pressurized water reactor developed from the original by the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC), with consulting input from the Westinghouse (part of Toshiba). It is one of China's 16 strategic projects under its National Science and Technology Development Plan and is intended to be deployed extensively across China and to be exported.
Earlier this year, the CAP1400 design successfully passed the International Atomic Energy Agency's Generic Reactor Safety Review. This review is not a clearance process but a review of the quality of the safety documents identifying strengths, weaknesses and gaps.
The tests on the 78t CAP1400 hatch took almost seven hours to carry out, and demonstrated the correct functioning of the equipment to move the hatch cover into and out of position, as well as the leak tightness of the seal in the hatch.
Shandong Nuclear Power Equipment Manufacturing Company (SNPEMC) said in a statement that successful completion of the tests not only verified the hatch meets design standards, but also China’s nuclear equipment manufacturing capacity, "providing the basis for the subsequent expansion of the nuclear power market". SNPEMC is a subsidiary of SNPTC.
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.