China's State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) on 27 February signed a cooperation agreement with the municipal government of the city of Baishan in Jilin province for the Baishan Nuclear Energy Heating Demonstration Project, Nicobar reported on 11 March.
SPIC said the project adopts the “intelligent heating concept” to build an interconnected and independent heating system. The demonstration project will meet the local heating demand for an area over 80 million square metres, according to SPIC CEO Wei Suo, who said the project is an important step in the implementation of SPIC’s strategy to transform from “nuclear electricity generator” to a “nuclear energy generator”. The work is also central to the government’s mandate to develop clean heating systems in Northern China.
Nicobar said that from 10-11 January, SPIC held a project promotion meeting at its Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (Snerdi) to discuss the nuclear heating demonstration project. Two designs of the demo project, an integrated multi-functional heating reactor and the Happy200 reactor design were discussed and compared. Initial findings showed that the two designs have quite different features and different technical or economic advantages. A final plan has not yet been chosen, and the conference concluded that both plans need to be further developed and tailored towards market demands. Initially, the planned nuclear heating project was expected to be built in Heilongjiang Province which is to the north of Jilin Province.
In December, Nextbigfuture.com published an article by Brian Wang titled “China Will Still Go Massively Nuclear but Does Not Want Western Reactor Technology”, which looked at plans for nuclear heating. China will more than double its current nuclear capacity by adding deep pool nuclear reactors for heating, it said. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and SPIC have all announced concepts for low-temperature district heating reactors.
CNNC’s District Heating Reactor-400 (DHR-400), known as Yanlong, is a low-temperature 400MWe pool-type reactor designed to provide heat at 90°C for up to 200,000 three-bedroom apartments. The reactor prototype achieved 168 hours of continuous heat supply in November 2017. CGN’s NHR200-II reactor is a low-temperature district heating reactor, which passed the National Nuclear Safety Administration review in the 1990s. In February 2018 it was announced that CGN and Tsinghua University were carrying out a feasibility study on constructing China’s first district heating nuclear plant using the NHR200-II design. SPIC’s Happy200 is similar to the Yanlong 200MWe producing hot water at 110°C. Pre-feasibility studies suggested first commissioning in 2022. There is no detail about its integrated multi-functional heating reactor.