Dual criticality for China’s HTR-PM

18 November 2021

China's HTR-PM nuclear project (photo: CNNC)The second reactor of China’s High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor-Pebble-bed Module (HTR-PM) at the Shidaowan plant in China’s Shandong province achieved criticality for the first time on 11 November, just two months after the first unit. 

China Huaneng said that HTR-PM reactor 1 has now completed the zero-power physical test at the low-power stage using helium and is moving forward towards grid connection. Reactor 2 will follow the same process moving from air to helium and follow-up tests.

The Shidaowan high-temperature gas-cooled reactor demonstration project began construction in Rongcheng, Shandong at the end of 2012. “This project is the world’s first pebble-bed modular high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear power plant, and it is also the world’s first demonstration project to commercialise high-temperature gas-cooled reactor nuclear power technology,” China Huaneng said.  

The demonstration HTR-PM, with two 250MWt reactors will drive a single 210MWe turbine. China Huaneng is the lead organisation in the consortium to build the demonstration unit (with a 47.5% stake), together with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) subsidiary China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (CNEC - 32.5%), and Tsinghua University's Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology (20%), which is the research and development leader. Chinergy, a joint venture of Tsinghua and CNEC, is the main contractor for the nuclear island.

Chinenergy said the HTR-PM  demonstration project is a major landmark project for China’s nuclear power independent innovation  with completely independent intellectual property rights. CNNC said it will continue to use Chinergy “as the platform for the transformation of high-temperature gas-cooled reactor scientific and technological achievements, and will continue to work together and sincerely cooperate with Tsinghua University and other parties to actively promote the implementation of subsequent high-temperature gas-cooled reactor industrialisation projects”.

Photo: China's HTR-PM nuclear project (photo: CNNC)

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