Containment tests completed at Sanmen 1

24 November 2015

Tests of the containment vessel of the first AP1000 unit under construction at the Sanmen nuclear power plant in China haveĀ been completed, Westinghouse announced yesterday.

Sanmen_02-21-2014 - 460 (Westinghouse)
The two AP1000 units under construction at Sanmen (Image: Westinghouse)

The two-part tests to confirm that the containment vessel meets design and construction quality requirements began on 14 October. The first part - the structural integrity test - involved the vessel being pressurized and monitored to confirm that its design and construction meet all applicable industry codes and standards at 110% of design pressure. This test was completed on 31 October.

The vessel was then pressurized to design pressure and the integrated leak rate test was performed to demonstrate its ability to prevent the release of radioactive materials in the event of an emergency. This was completed on 6 November.

Westinghouse said final data reports on the testing are in process and will be issued by the end of the year.

Haydn Doughty, Westinghouse site director at Sanmen, said: "The containment vessel pressure testing is another significant milestone in the delivery of the world's first AP1000 nuclear power plant."

He added, "The testing confirms the integrity of the containment vessel structure and keeps Westinghouse and our delivery partners on a clear path to project completion."

Westinghouse is currently constructing four AP1000 units in China, two each at Sanmen in Zhejiang province and Haiyang in Shandong. Sanmen unit 1 is expected to be the first AP1000 to begin operating. - in September 2016.

Four AP1000 reactors are being built in the USA - two each at Vogtle and Summer - while three AP1000s are also proposed for the Moorside site in the UK.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News