Guo He One, China’s third-generation nuclear power plant was launched on 28 September (Photo: SNERDI)China’s State Power Investment Corp (SPIC) said in late September that research and development work on the domestic third-generation Guo He One (CAP1400) reactor had been completed.

The CAP1400 is based on the third-generation Westinghouse AP1000 reactor technology imported from the US in 2007. It has seen significant technological innovations as a result of 12 years of effort by more than 26,000 Chinese technology engineers, said CAP1400 chief designer Zheng Mingguang.

Some 90% of CAP1400's equipment is now domestically made, with all its key parts and materials including the main pump being domestically designed and produced, he added.

CAP1400 has also broken overseas technology monopolies in many areas and owns independent intellectual property and export rights, said SPIC assistant general manager Lu Hongzao. SPIC said these include reactor coolant pumps, squib valves, steam generators, reactor pressure vessel internals, control rod drive mechanisms, large forgings, nuclear-grade welding materials, 690 U-shaped pipes, and other key equipment.

SPIC is promoting the Guo He One brand for export and is discussing potential partnerships with countries including Turkey and South Africa, Hao Hongsheng, general manager of the SPIC's nuclear energy department, told the Global Times, adding that the technology will be competitive in the global market with relatively high degree of safety and low costs. "We are totally confident about exports of Guo He One," Hao said, adding that the construction cost can be reduced by 20% percent after achieving mass production.

Lin Boqiang, director of the China Centre for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, said with the first- and second-generation nuclear reactors being phased out, third-generation technology will become mainstream. "In this context, having an additional domestic nuclear technology beyond the Hualong One is of great value to China both in terms of exporting nuclear technology and the domestic development of China's nuclear industry." 

In September 2014, China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration approved the preliminary safety analysis report of the CAP1400 design following a 17-month review. In 2016, it passed the joint safety review “with the widest scope and deepest content in the history of China as well as the general safety review of the International Atomic Energy Agency”,  SPIC said.  To date, 99.2% of the construction design of the Guo He One demonstration project has been completed. Two demonstration CAP1400 units are under construction at Huaneng Group's Shidaowan site in Shandong province.  

Photo: Guo He One, China’s third-generation nuclear power plant was launched on 28 September (Photo: SNERDI)