IAEA looks at safety of China’s CAP1400

6 May 2016

China's CAP1400 reactor design has passed the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's) Generic Reactor Safety Review (GRSR), according to the Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI), a subsidiary of the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC). SNERDI signed an agreement with the IAEA in July 2015 for a review of the CAP1400.

The GRSR looks at the quality of the safety documents identifying strengths, weaknesses and gaps of new reactor designs that are not yet in the licensing stage. It involves an international team of experts evaluating design safety case claims against selected and applicable IAEA safety standards. The final GRSR evaluation report was submitted on 27 April.

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. It is one of China's 16 strategic projects under its National Science and Technology Development Plan, and is intended to be extensively deployed in China and also offered for export. Site preparation is already underway for two demonstration CAP1400 units at Huaneng Group's Shidaowan site in Shandong province, with first concrete expected shortly.

In September 2014, China's National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) approved the preliminary safety analysis report of the CAP1400 design following a 17-month review. More than 260 experts took part in NNSA's safety review, which involved 30 meetings to discuss more than 5,000 questions, according to SNPTC. As a result, more than 1,000 work orders were drawn up.

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