The reactor vessel has been lowered into the Taishan unit 1 reactor building, and then installed in its final location in the reactor pit.

The positioning of this steel component – weighing more than 420 tons, with a diameter of 5.3 metres and 10.6 metres high – marks the culmination of numerous civil engineering and assembly works undertaken since the metal dome was placed on top of the reactor building at the end of October 2011. This important stage was coordinated by the project manager of the EPR construction project, Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company (TNPJVC: a joint venture owned at 70% by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company and at 30% by EDF), with technical support provided by local AREVA teams.

This operation marks the start of works for the installation of the nuclear steam supply system (apart from the vessel, the 4 steam generators, pressuriser, the 4 primary motorised pump units and pipework), to be undertaken in parallel with the installation of the equipment and auxiliary systems.

David Emond, Taishan Project Manager at AREVA, stated: “The installation of the vessel for the first EPR reactor at Taishan power plant under the best conditions initiates an important new phase in the development of the site.”

Roger Seban, Deputy Chief Executive of TNPJVC, assigned by EDF commented: “Now that the vessel has been put in place, we have to move on to the work of installing all of the power station equipment, whilst at all times observing the quality and safety requirements. The Franco-Chinese teams at Taishan are mobilised and ready to achieve this objective.”