Chinese nuclear plant starts supplying industrial heating

15 December 2022

China's first nuclear energy industrial heating project has officially been completed and put into operation at the Qinshan nuclear power plant in Zhejiang Province, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced.

The nuclear energy industrial heating project at Qinshan (Image: CNNC)

The project started on 15 July this year, with the construction of the main network completed on 15 November. It entered trial operation on 21 November.

CNNC said the project can provide guaranteed 24-hour heat supply with annual industrial heat supply of about 288,000 gigajoules. This, it says, is equivalent to saving about 10,000 tonnes of standard coal and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 24,000 tonnes.

"This is another major breakthrough made by CNNC Qinshan Nuclear Power and Haiyan County in the comprehensive utilisation of nuclear energy since the completion of the first phase of the Zhejiang Haiyan Nuclear Energy Heating Demonstration Project in 2021," CNNC said.

The first phase of the district heating demonstration project at Qinshan, with a total investment of about CNY940 million (USD135 million), was commissioned in December 2021. The project is divided into three phases. The initial phase now provides nuclear energy generated central heating to 460,000 square metres of accommodation in three residential areas and 5000 square metres of apartments for nearly 4000 residents of Haiyan County. The overall project goal is to have 704,000 gigajoules of heat, meeting the heating demand of 4 million square metres by 2025, covering the main urban area of ​​Haiyan County and the entire area of ​​Shupu Town.

The Zhejiang Haiyan Nuclear Energy Heating Demonstration Project utilises the remaining thermal power from the Qinshan plant in winter to provide heating to public facilities, residential communities and industrial parks in Haiyan County without affecting the original power generation and safety performance of the reactors.

Qinshan is China's largest nuclear power plant, comprising seven reactors. Construction of Phase I of the plant - a 300 MWe pressurised water reactor (PWR) which was the first indigenously-designed Chinese nuclear power station to be built - began in 1985, with the unit entering commercial operation in 1994. Qinshan Phase II is home to four operating CNP-600 PWRs, built with a high degree of localisation. Units 1 and 2, comprising the first stage of Phase II, began operating in 2002 and 2004, respectively. Units 3 and 4 entered commercial operation in October 2010 and April 2021. Phase III consists of two 750 MWe pressurised heavy water reactors supplied by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd and commissioned in 2002 and 2003.

China's Haiyang nuclear power plant in Shandong province officially started providing district heat to the surrounding area in November 2020. A trial of the project - the country's first commercial nuclear heating project - was carried out the previous winter, providing heat to 700,000 square metres of housing, including the plant's dormitory and some local residents. In 2021, the Haiyang Nuclear Energy Heating Project began providing heating to the entire Haiyang City.

In May, CNNC started work on a project at the Tianwan plant in China's Jiangsu province to supply steam to a nearby petrochemical plant. Due for completion at the end of 2023, it will be China's first industrial-use nuclear energy steam supply project. The facility is expected to supply 4.8 million tonnes of steam annually.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News