Polar crane commissioned at San'ao 2

2 February 2024

The polar crane has been installed and tested in the roof of the containment building at unit 2 of China’s San'ao NPP under construction in Zhejiang province. The crane is located at a height of more than 38 metres under the containment dome on a trolley that moves 360° on a circular rail over the reactor shaft. This makes possible transport operations anywhere in the central hall of the reactor building. It has a range of uses including in the installation of large equipment, such as the reactor vessel and steam generators. It is also used during maintenance and refuelling operations.

The diameter of the crane's hoisting track is 43 metres, the main lifting weight is 200 tonnes, the auxiliary lifting weight is 35 tonnes, and the lifting weight of the installation trolley is 480 tonnes.

Site surveys at the San'ao site began in 2007 and the National Energy Administration approved the project in 2015. In September 2020, the executive meeting of the State Council approved the construction of units 1&2 as Phase One of the plant. China's National Nuclear Safety Administration issued a construction permit for the two Chinese-designed HPR1000 (Hualong One) pressurised water reactors the following December and first concrete for unit 1 was then poured. First concrete for San'ao 2 was poured in December 2021. Six Hualong One units are planned for the site. San'ao 1&2 are scheduled to begin supplying electricity in 2026 and 2027.

The San'ao plant is China’s first nuclear power project with private equity participation. Geely Technology Group has acquired a 2% stake in the plant. CGN owns a 46% stake in the project company Cangnan Nuclear Power, the rest of the shares are owned by other state-owned enterprises.

Image: The polar crane in place at San'ao 2 (courtesy of CGN)

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