Core module installed at Chinese SMR

10 August 2023

The core module has been installed within the reactor building of the ACP100 small modular reactor (SMR) demonstration project, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has announced.

The core module is hoisted towards the reactor building (Image: CNNC)

The core module of the ACP100 - also referred to as the Linglong One - integrates the pressure vessel, evaporator and main pumps, and removes the need for a main pipeline. The welding of joints between the steam generator and the reactor pressure vessel, in which it is located, was earlier carried out at the factory where it was produced.

"This is the first milestone of the installation of the Linglong One nuclear island," CNNC said. "It marks the debut of modular manufacturing and installation of nuclear reactor modules, representing a historic step of global nuclear miniaturisation and highlighting China's leading position in the modular manufacturing of small pressurised reactor (PWR) units."

The core module (Image: CNNC)

CNNC announced in July 2019 the launch of a project to construct an ACP100 reactor at Changjiang on China's southern island province of Hainan. 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.

The core module is lowered into position within the reactor building (Image: CNNC)

Under development since 2010, the 125 MWe ACP100 integrated PWR's preliminary design was completed in 2014. In 2016, the design became the first SMR to pass a safety review by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Once completed, the Changjiang ACP100 reactor - which CNNC describes as "the world's first commercial land-based small modular PWR" - 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