Construction of AP1000 units in China has seen three milestones this month: on-site, at a new module factory and in fuel fabrication.
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Building work on the first of the Westinghouse-designed units at Sanmen moved on with the lifting in of the fourth ring of the reactor's containment vessel. Shandong Nuclear Power Company said the lift went well despite cold weather and took place 14 days ahead of schedule. This major part of the reactor building now stands about 40 metres high.
Meanwhile, in central Hubei province an inauguration ceremony was held for the country's second factory for the modules that make AP1000 major structures. This is owned by Hubei Nuclear Power Equipment Company Ltd, based in Wuhan. The factory will make the large components, such as containment vessel sections, for AP1000s as well as for later Chinese derivatives like the larger CAP-1400.
Main partners in this development are the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation, Shandong Nuclear Power Equipment Manufacturing Company, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, Nuclear Power Investment Co. of Jiangxi, Wuchang Shipbuilding Heavy Industry, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Engineering Co. and Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute.
Also involved and presumably likely to use the modules were the project companies represeting the Xianning and Taohuajiang nuclear power plants, where construction on new AP1000s is expected very soon. These will be among China's first nuclear power plants not sited on the coast. At Xianning, the project lead will be China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company, whereas Taohuajiang is led by China National Nuclear Corporation.
Separately in the USA Westinghouse announced the manufacture of the first four fuel assemblies. They were made in the company's Columbia facility in South Carolina and should go into action at Sanmen 1 when it begins operation in 2013.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News