Dome installed at second Chinese EPR

13 September 2012

Construction of the second EPR unit at the Taishan nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province has reached a major milestone with the dome of the reactor building being lowered into place. It comes less than a year after the dome was installed at the first unit there.

Taishan 2 dome lifting
The dome is raised before being lowered on top of the reactor building walls (Image: EDF/Areva)

Plant constructor China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation (CNECC) announced that the reactor dome was successfully lifted by crane and placed on top of the containment building at 10.28am on 12 September.

Using one of the world's largest cranes, the reactor building dome, with a diameter of almost 47 metres and weighing over 231 tonnes, was lifted some 64 metres above the ground and then slowly lowered onto the 44-metre high reactor building. Work will now start to weld an air-tight seal around the joint between the dome and the reactor building, which will then be encased with 7000 tonnes of concrete.

The installation of the reactor building dome marks the end of the major civil engineering works on the reactor buildings, which has involved some 2000 workers over a two-year period.

The reactor building dome of unit 1 was installed in October 2011. The reactor vessel was subsequently put in place in June 2012 and the steam generators are scheduled to be installed in the next few weeks.

Taishan 1 and 2 are the first two reactors based on Areva's EPR design to be built in China. The first two EPRs planned for the site form part of an €8 billion contract signed by Areva and the Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC) in November 2007. The Taishan project - 140 kilometres west of Hong Kong - is owned by the Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited, a joint venture between EDF (30%) and CGNPC. Unit 1 should begin operating in 2013, with unit 2 following in 2014. The construction of two further EPRs at Taishan is expected to begin by 2015.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News