AP1000 crane on way to China

17 August 2011

The first polar crane for use at the AP1000 reactors currently under construction at Sanmen, China, has begun its journey from the manufacturing plant in the USA, Westinghouse announced, as it talks to a potential partner in the Czech Republic.



AP1000 polar crane for Sanmen (Westinghouse)
Part of the crane starts its journey to Sanmen (Image: Westinghouse)



The crane, destined for unit 1 at Sanmen, was manufactured at the NuCrane facility in Hutchinson, Minnesota, and is being transported in sections to be assembled on site. Eleven flat bed trucks and 15 shipping containers are being used to transport the components by road to New Orleans, where they will be loaded onto commercial ships headed for China. The crane is expected to arrive at the Sanmen construction site in Zhejiang province in late October.


NuCrane is a joint venture formed in September 2009 by Westinghouse subsidiary PaR Nuclear and Hutchinson Manufacturing to fabricate, assemble and test specialty cranes for nuclear power plants.


Sanmen 1 is one of two AP1000 units being constructed at the site and is the lead unit of four AP1000s currently being built in China, the other two being at Haiyang. All these are scheduled to begin operating between November 2013 and March 2015.


Polar cranes operate on circular rails, and are used in pressurized water reactors to lift reactor heads, reactor internals, and a multitude of lighter loads during refuelling outages. In some plants the polar crane is also used to lift the reactor vessel itself and the steam generators during plant construction. The AP1000 polar crane has a main hoist capacity of 300 tonnes and an auxiliary hoist rated at 25 tonnes. The bridge has a rated capacity of 800 tonnes to enable it to support special construction lifting equipment if necessary. The AP1000 polar crane is almost 38 metres long, 13.5 metres wide, and weighs more than 450 tonnes.


Czech mate


Meanwhile, Westinghouse has signed a memorandum of understanding with Czech engineering-supply company I&C Energo to cooperate in instrumentation and control systems for potential new AP1000 units in Czech Republic. It also covers the associated testing and start-up services.


Westinghouse has submitted a tender bid to Czech utility CEZ to construct two AP1000 units at the Temelin plant, which already houses two Russian-supplied VVER reactors. Further bids have been placed by Russia's AtomStroyExport, in a consortium with Czech company Skoda JS and Russia's Gidropress, as well as France's Areva.


Researched and written
by World Nuclear News