China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said the main control room of the ACP100 small modular reactor (SMR) demonstration project at the Changjiang NPP in Hainan Province has begun operation. The multi-purpose 125 MWe SMR (also known as Linglong One) is a pressurised water reactor designed for electricity generation, urban heating, urban cooling, industrial steam production, or seawater desalination.

Following the establishment of part of the digital control system (DCS) network of the plant operation, the first on-site measurement signal was displayed on the main control screen. The DCS system for uses two domestically-developed platforms: the Dragon Scale platform (safety level) and the Dragon Fin platform (non-safety level). The Dragon Scale platform controls reactor safety under various working conditions while, the Dragon Fin platform is responsible for operation and management. The two platforms together control hundreds of systems within the plant including almost 10,000 equipment operations and various operating conditions.

The project involves owner-operator CNNC subsidiary China National Nuclear Power, reactor designer Nuclear Power Institute of China and China Nuclear Power Engineering Group responsible for plant construction. The reactor vessel is being supplied by Shanghai Boiler Works Limited, the steam generators by another CNNC subsidiary and other reactor internals by Dongfang Electric Corporation.

CNNC began development of the Linglong One in 2010, and it was the first SMR project to pass an independent safety assessment by International Atomic Energy Agency experts in 2016. Its integrated pressurised water reactor (PWR) design was completed in 2014 and it was identified as a key project in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan. The design, which has 57 fuel assemblies and integral steam generators, was developed from the larger ACP1000 PWR. It incorporates passive safety features and could be installed underground.

CNNC formally launched the project in 2019 and China’s state council approved the ACP100 Science & Technology Demonstration Project in 2021 and first concrete was poured in July that year. The lower section of the containment shell of was hoisted into place on in February 2022 and the last tank of concrete for the nuclear island’s underground retaining walls was poured the following August. Once completed, the project will produce enough power to meet the needs of 526,000 households, according to CNNC.