Grid connection for first AP1000s planned for late 2014

18 September 2013

Sanmen 1 and Haiyang 1 are due to be connected to the Chinese electrical grid in December 2014, said Wang Binhua, chairman, SNPTC, in a presentation at the World Nuclear Association's annual symposium in London in mid-September. He said that 28 reactors are currently in construction in China, and 16 are in preliminary preparation (which means that they have passed the central government's preliminary approval).

In addition, safety-related concrete was due to be poured for eight more AP1000s in China within the next year, said Danny Roderick, Westinghouse president and CEO. That includes two units each at two new sites, Xudabao in Liaoning province and Lufeng in Guangdong province, and two additional units each on the existing Sanmen and Haiyang sites (in other words, they are Sanmen 3&4 and Haiyang 3&4).

The AP1000 reactors are being built by SNPTC in a technology-transfer agreement with Westinghouse. As part of the agreement, the Chinese supply chain gradually takes an increasingly large share of reactor construction. However, the eight new units would still have some Westinghouse critical components, according to Jeffrey Benjamin, Westinghouse senior vice president, nuclear power plants, including digital control systems, fuel, and reactor internals. Westinghouse would also help with operational readiness, startup and supplier training.


Wang of SNPTC said that R&D work continues on a larger, indigenous version of the AP1000, the CAP1400 reactor. Conceptual design work began in 2008, preliminary design was carried out in 2011-12, and large-scale tests are currently under way. He said that first concrete was due to be poured for the demonstration unit at Shidaowan, Shandong province in April 2014, with grid connection planned for 2018. By then, 75% of design drawings are expected to be complete (as of mid-August they were 43% complete).

As the 1400MW reactor design promises to generate 20% more power than the AP1000, its components are correspondingly bigger, Wang said. For example, the steam generator tubesheet is just over 5m in diameter, compared with 4.5m for the AP1000.

Wang said that key components for the reactor, including reactor pressure vessel, steam generators, pressurizer, accumulator, passive heat removal system, control rod drive mechanisms, reactor vessel internals and turbines, have been ordered.

Regulatory review of the CAP 1400 began in March 2013. The Chinese National Nuclear Safety Administration began its review of the preliminary safety analysis report in April 2013. The National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) had meetings to review the site evaluation report and environmental impact report in June 2013. Review of the preliminary design began in December 2012. Currently, the site is being excavated.

Wang said that SNPTC is also doing preliminary R&D on a larger CAP 1700, and a demonstration reactor is also planned for the Shidaowan site.

Caption: Haiyang 1 (left) and 2 construction site in September 2013 (Source: SNPTC)

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