Accreditation for Chinese nuclear components

05 June 2009

The first component modules for the Sanmen AP1000s have been completed in China. The manufacturing company has just received the N-Stamp accreditation for its nuclear-grade steelwork.


This image shows the work to assemble the top of a 40-metre-diameter containment vessel for an AP1000 at Shandong Nuclear Power Equipment Manufacturing Co.


AP1000 containment vessel under construction at Shandong


As part of China's plans to deploy AP1000s and future derivatives on a mass scale, Shandong is to specialise in the manufacture of large components like this, as well as pre-assembled modules. The company has said that in May it completed and shipped one of the largest module sets for Sanmen 1, weighing in at around 840 tonnes.


Elsewhere in the supply chain... 

Sheffield Forgemasters will supply £1.2 million-worth ($1.9 million) of forgings to Babcock & Wilcox "for the Argentine nuclear power program" and parts of the same value to German pump manufacturer KSB for South Korean nuclear power plants.
Argentina is completing Atucha 2, while South Korea has five large reactors under construction and seven more planned.
Sheffield Forgemasters has for some time been considering an investment in a 15,000 tonne press that would allow it to make the very largest nuclear forgings.

A critical step towards this kind of capability is the establishment of appropriate quality-control assurances, with the international standard being the N-Stamp awarded by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. According to a company statement on 2 June, Shandong has now received the N-Stamp, marking it as a world-class outfit less than three years after it was established.


For the first four AP1000s the supply of reactor pressure vessels, a key supply-chain issue, has been contracted to Doosan Heavy Industries of South Korea by Westinghouse and Shaw. After this, Chinese firms are expected to be ready to supply. Shandong is one bidder for forthcoming pressure vessels, as are China First Heavy Industries Corp and Harbin Boiler Co.