Cold testing under way at Tianwan 3

28 November 2016

Cold hydrostatic testing has been started at unit 3 of the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China's Jiangsu province, China Nuclear Industry 23 Construction Company Limited (CNI23) has announced. The Russian-supplied VVER-1000 is scheduled to start up in 2018.

Tianwan 3 cold tests - 460 (CNI23)
Workers mark the start of cold tests at Tianwan 3 (Image: CNI23)

CNI23 said cold tests began at Tianwan 3 at 4.23pm on 26 November. During the tests, the pressure within the primary circuit will reach 24.5 megapascals (MPa), while that in the secondary circuit will reach 10.8 MPa, the company said. It noted the tests are a "comprehensive examination of all pre-equipment manufacturing and installation quality". 

Cold hydrostatic testing involves filling the reactor's primary circuit with water, which is circulated at high pressure by the reactor coolant pumps to verify that the welds, joints, pipes and components of the reactor coolant system and associated high-pressure systems meet regulatory standards. The coolant pumps will help to maintain the reactor's internal temperature at a safe level during operations. The tests are an important step in the commissioning of new units.

China National Nuclear Corporation's (CNNC's) Tianwan 3 and 4 will be AES-91 VVER-1000 units designed by Gidropress and supplied by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom. AtomStroyExport is the main contractor, supplying the nuclear island. First concrete for unit 3 was poured in December 2012, while construction of unit 4 began in September 2013. Unit 3 is scheduled to begin operating in February 2018 with unit 4 following in March 2019. Two similar reactors (units 1 and 2) began operating at the site in 2007.

The Tianwan plant is owned and operated by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation, a joint venture between CNNC (50%), China Power Investment Corporation (30%) and Jiangsu Guoxin Group (20%).

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News