Core module assembly completed at China’s ACP100 SMR

15 August 2023

Assembly and installation of the core module for the world's first land-based commercial small modular reactor (SMR), China’s ACP100 reactor (also known as Linglong One), has been completed at Changjiang on the southern island province of Hainan, according to China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). The ACP100 is an indigenously designed multi-purpose small modular pressurised water reactor.

The core module, designed by the Nuclear Power Research & Design Institute of China for CNNC, includes the pressure vessel steam generators and main pumps of the ACP100, avoiding the need for a main pipeline. The joints between the steam generator and the reactor pressure vessel were earlier welded together at the factory where it was produced. CNNC said this “marks the debut of modular manufacturing and installation of nuclear reactor modules, representing a historic step of global nuclear miniaturisation and highlighting China's leading position in the modular manufacturing of small pressurised reactor units."

The 125 MWe ACP100 project began development in 2010 and the integrated preliminary design was completed in 2014. It was the first SMR design to pass a safety review by the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2016. The project was launched in July 2019 and first concrete was poured in July 2021, with a planned total construction period of 58 months. Equipment installation work began in December 2022 and the main internal structure of the reactor building was completed in March. The reactor is designed for electricity production, heating, steam production or seawater desalination.

The Changjiang site hosts two operating Chinese-designed CNP600 pressurised water reactors, and construction of two Hualong One units began in March and December 2021 – both scheduled to enter commercial operation by the end of 2026.

Image: The core module is hoisted into place (courtesy of CNNC)

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