Engineering framework contracts for construction of the first Chinese AP1400 reactor were signed in Beijing on November 11. The CAP1400 is a 1400MW passively safe reactor developed from the Westinghouse AP1000.

Artist's impression of CAP1400

Artist’s impression of CAP1400 as built

Westinghouse announced in 2008 that it was working with the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) and Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute (SNERDI) to develop jointly a passively safe larger design from the AP1000 for large-scale deployment. In October 2009, SNPTC and CNNC signed an agreement to co-develop and refine the AP1000 design to create the CAP1400.

The CAP1400 large demonstration project is one of the 16 key technology projects listed in the Chinese National Medium and Long-term Scientific and Technological Development Plan (2006-2020).

The State Nuclear Demonstration Company, a 55-45% joint venture company of SNPTC and China Huaneng Group, is responsible for construction. The State Nuclear Demonstration Company and the state team officially launched talks on the engineering framework agreement in April 2010. Agreement with a team formed by State Nuclear Power Engineering Company and SNERDI was finalized after four rounds of negotiation and signed earlier this month. The contract is a significant step in the process of building the CAP1400 demonstration plant. As scheduled, CAP1400 will have first concrete poured in April 2013 and start commercial operation in December 2017.

On November 12th, State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) and Westinghouse signed a package of agreements in Beijing. Westinghouse will provide SNPTC with technical consulting services in research and development of CAP1400 nuclear power plant. CAP1400 is intended to be a nuclear technology developed by SNPTC with Chinese intellectual property rights.

Under contracts agreed for the construction of the four AP1000s at Sanmem and Haiyang, Westinghouse agreed to transfer the technology for the reactor to SNPTC, enabling China to develop a fleet of the reactors itself. Agreements for cooperation on the larger AP1400 have followed. The agreements signed this month are a significant step in the process of absorption and innovation of the third generation nuclear technology development. The agreements signed include a Business Development Framework Agreement for Large Passive Pressurized Water Reactor Nuclear Power Plant, Technical Consulting Service Agreement for CAP1400 and Consulting Service agreement for Conceptual Design of CAP1400.