All primary circuit equipment is now in place for the second reactor of the Ling Ao Phase II power plant. The reactor is one of 14 under construction at the moment in China and is due to begin power generation at the end of next year.
This image shows the central item, the reactor pressure vessel, during installation last month. In front of the reactor vessel is a deeply recessed fuel pool, where nuclear fuel assemblies will be temporarily stored during refuelling. The open containment equipment hatch is visible, as are steam generators to the left, right and rear of the pressure vessel.
It is these major components, as well as main pumps, the pressurizer unit and heavy-guage piping between them that make up the primary coolant circuit of the pressurized water reactor. A second loop of water is turned to high-pressure steam on passing through the steam generators and this goes on to drive a set of turbines and generate 1080 MWe in this CPR-1000 model. A third loop of cold water taken from and returned to the sea is used to condense steam in the secondary loop and ultimately remove heat from the closed system. Sea water is typically returned around 4 ºC warmer than when it entered the system.