Core module completed for Chinese SMR

14 July 2023

The core module for the ACP100 small modular reactor (SMR) demonstration project has passed the final acceptance and will be shipped to the construction site at the Changjiang nuclear power plant on China's southern island province of Hainan, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has announced.

The core module (Image: CFHI)

The core module of the ACP100 multi-purpose, small modular pressurised water reactor (PWR) - also referred to as the Linglong One - mainly comprises two key components: the pressure vessel and the steam generator. These were independently designed by CNNC's China Nuclear Power Research and Design Institute and manufactured by China First Heavy Industry.

CNNC said the acceptance of the core module "marks a historic step in the modular manufacturing of small pressurised water reactor units".

The company announced in July 2019 the launch of a project to construct an ACP100 reactor at Changjiang. The site is already home to two operating CNP600 PWRs, while the construction of the two Hualong One units began in March and December 2021. Both those units are due to enter commercial operation by the end of 2026.

First concrete for the ACP100 was poured on 13 July 2021, with a planned total construction period of 58 months. Equipment installation work commenced in December 2022 and the main internal structure of the reactor building was completed in March this year.

Under development since 2010, the 125 MWe ACP100 integrated PWR's preliminary design was completed in 2014. The major components of its primary coolant circuit are installed within the reactor pressure vessel. In 2016, the design became the first SMR to pass a safety review by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

CNNC said the design and construction of the ACP100 is "revolutionary and breakthrough". It added: "Its most prominent feature is modular construction, through the standardised design and manufacture of a single module, and mass production, which shortens the construction period and reduces manufacturing costs while improving safety. The modular small reactor system is simplified, the size of the equipment is small, the transportation is convenient, and the operation is easier."

Once completed, the Changjiang ACP100 reactor will be capable of producing 1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to meet the needs of 526,000 households. The reactor is designed for electricity production, heating, steam production or seawater desalination.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News