Reactor vessel installed at China’s Haiyang 3

17 January 2024

The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) weighing 281 tonnes has been lifted and installed at unit 3 of China’s Haiyang NPP in Shandong province. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said the process took a little more than two hours. The Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute (SNERDI) noted that the process had to be carefully planned to ensure that the high-precision manoeuvres, including lifting, rotation, lowering and adjustment, were completed successfully.

CNNC said this represented significant progress in the construction of the CAP-1000 reactor unit. It uses a modular construction technology that enables the manufacture of large structural modules in factories, which are then installed on site reducing construction time and improving quality control.

The Haiyang NPP hosts two AP1000 reactors (units 1&2) which entered commercial operation in 2018 and 2019 with two CAP1000 reactors (units 3&4) under construction. Construction of Haiyang 4 began in April and first concrete was poured for the nuclear island of Haiyang 3 in July 2022. This marked the official start of construction of the first of two CAP1000 pressurised water reactors (the Chinese version of the Westinghouse AP1000) planned as Phase II at the site. SNERDI noted that the planned construction period for Haiyang 3&4 was 56 months, with both units scheduled to be fully operational in 2027.

Haiyan nuclear power plant is also the centre of an innovative district heating scheme, which since November has been supplying heat through a 23-kilometer pipeline to the cities of Haiyan and Rushan. According to representatives of the State Energy Investment Corporation (SPIC), the project covers an area of 12.5 million square meters and satisfies the need for a clean warmth of about 400,000 people.

Image courtesy of Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute

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