Reactor vessel installed at Taishan

06 June 2012

Construction of the first EPR unit at the Taishan nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province has passed another major milestone with the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) being lowered into place.

Taishan RPV installation (CGNPC)
The reactor vessel is lowered into place at Taishan unit 1 (Image: CGNPC)

Taishan 1 and 2 are the first two reactors based on Areva's EPR design to be built in China. The first two EPRs planned for the site form part of an €8 billion ($10.4 billion) contract signed by Areva and the Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC) in November 2007. The Taishan project, 140 kilometres west of Hong Kong, is owned by the Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited, a joint venture between France's EDF (30%) and CGNPC.

The RPV - weighing more than 420 tonnes, with a diameter of 5.3 metres and a height of 10.6 metres - was successfully installed on 3 June. In a joint statement, EDF and Areva said that the milestone "marks the start of works for the installation of the nuclear steam supply system ... to be undertaken in parallel with the installation of the equipment and auxilary systems."

David Emond, Areva's project manager for the Taishan project, commented: "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." He added, "With the success of this key operation, we have taken a further step towards the commissioning of the most powerful nuclear reactor in China."

First concrete was poured in October 2009, with the dome of the reactor building being lowered into place on top of the containment building in October 2011. Unit 1 should begin operating in 2013, with unit 2 following in 2014. The construction of two further EPRs at Taishan is expected to begin by 2015.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Filed under: Construction, China