Outer dome installed at China’s ACP100 SMR

8 February 2024

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said the outer containment dome has been installed at the ACP-100 small modular reactor (SMR) demonstration project at the Changjiang NPP in Hainan Province. The multi-purpose 125 MWe SMR (also known as Linglong One) is a pressurised water reactor designed for electricity generation, urban heating, urban cooling, industrial steam production, or seawater desalination.

The reactor building for the ACP100 consists of three parts: the internal structure, the steel containment shell and the outer concrete shielding shell. The inner steel containment dome was installed in November. According to CNNC, lifting and installing the 550-tonne outer shell took one hour and thirty-eight minutes. The main structure of the reactor building has now been completed paving the way for the subsequent capping of the reactor building, Chen Weimin, deputy director of the Hainan Nuclear Power Engineering Management Office explained. He added that this represented valuable experience for subsequent modular development of new nuclear.

The installation was completed in time for Chinese New Year and the Spring Festival holidays. CNNC said the 6,000 workers at the project site will stay at their jobs "and go all out to ensure that the project is completed on time". The project involves owner-operator CNNC subsidiary China National Nuclear Power, reactor designer Nuclear Power Institute of China and China Nuclear Power Engineering Group responsible for plant construction. The reactor vessel is being supplied by Shanghai Boiler Works Limited, the steam generators by another CNNC subsidiary and other reactor internals by Dongfang Electric Corporation.

CNNC began development of the Linglong One in 2010, and it was the first SMR project to pass an independent safety assessment by International Atomic Energy Agency experts in 2016. Its integrated pressurised water reactor (PWR) design was completed in 2014 and it was identified as a key project in China's 12th Five-Year Plan. The design, which has 57 fuel assemblies and integral steam generators, was developed from the larger ACP1000 PWR. It incorporates passive safety features and could be installed underground.

CNNC formally launched the project in 2019 and China's state council approved the ACP100 Science & Technology Demonstration Project in 2021 and first concrete was poured in July that year. The lower section of the containment shell of was hoisted into place on in February 2022 and the last tank of concrete for the nuclear island's underground retaining walls was poured the following August. Once completed, the project will produce enough power to meet the needs of 526,000 households, CNNC said.

There are already two operating CNP600 power units at the Changjiang site, and construction of the two Hualong One power units began in March and December 2021 for operation by the end of 2026.

Image: Installation site of China's small modular reactor, Linglong One, in Changjiang, China

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