Tall order for Hamon

12 January 2011

Belgium-based Hamon Thermal Europe has been awarded a contract to build two huge cooling towers for the first two AP1000 units to be constructed at the Xianning nuclear power plant in China's Hubei province – one of the country's first inland plants.


Under an order from China Nuclear Power Engineering Co (CNPEC) – the procurement subsidiary of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) - Hamon will design, supply and construct two natural draft cooling towers.


With a base diameter of 169 metres and a height of 209 metres, they will be the world's largest natural draft cooling towers.


Xianning cooling plants (Hamon)
An artist's impression of the four giant towers at the Xianning plant (Image: Hamon)


Hamon will be responsible for the civil, thermal and mechanical design that will be executed in partnership with China Nuclear Power Design Co (CNPDC) – the design subsidiary of CGNPG.


Hamon will manufacture the components for the cooling towers at its factory in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, and install them on site.


All of China's 13 operating nuclear reactors, as well as the more than 25 units under construction, are sited on the coast, meaning they can use sea water for cooling. However, the country's extensive plans for nuclear development see a number of new nuclear sites springing up inland, the first being Taohuajiang in Hunan province.


A contract for the natural draft cooling tower for the first of four AP1000 units planned at Taohuajiang was awarded to Germany’s GEA Group in April 2010. At some 200 meters in height and 160 metres in diameter - far taller than the AP1000 buildings which reach only around 60 metres – the Taohuajiang tower will be slightly smaller than those at Xianning.


Construction of Xianning 1 and 2, both 1250 MWe AP1000 units, is due to start later in 2011, with operation of the first unit scheduled for 2015. The plant will eventually house four AP1000 reactors.


Hamon signed an agreement in October 2009 with China's State Nuclear Electric Power Planning Design and Research Institute (SNPDRI) for cooperation in super-large cooling towers for nuclear power plants.


In February 2009, SNPDRI awarded a contract to Hamon for the design of the cooling tower for the planned inland nuclear power plant at Pengze, Jiangxi province.


Researched and written 

by World Nuclear News 


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