Beijing: A key component of China’s first fourth-generation nuclear energy system in Shandong province was installed on Sunday. The pressure vessel of a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) was placed at the Huaneng Shidao Bay nuclear power plant, Xinhua news agency reported. The cylindrical vessel, 25 metres high and weighing 610 tonnes, is the biggest, heaviest and most complicated pressure vessel for a nuclear reactor, said a statement from Huaneng Shandong Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Co (HSNPC), the plant’s builder and operator.
In line with the fourth-generation concept, the reactor can shut down safely in the event of an emergency without causing a reactor core meltdown or large leak of radioactive material. With a capacity of 200 megawatts, the reactor will start generating power by the end of 2017.
It is predicted that 91 percent of the equipment in the plant will come from Chinese companies, said He Yunsheng, general manager of HSNPC. “The high-temperature gas-cooled reactor represents the latest technology. It will greatly raise China’s capacity in nuclear power plants and boost export,” said He.