Fangchenggang 2 set for start-up

03 June 2016

The reactor pressure vessel head has been installed at unit 2 of the Fangchenggang nuclear power plant in China's Guangxi province following the completion of fuel loading. Installation of the vessel head was carried out using the first Chinese-developed bolt tensioning machine.

China General Nuclear (CGN) said the process of fitting the vessel head was performed on 29 May and took less than three-and-a-half hours to complete.

Fangchenggang 2 vessel head - 250 (CGN)
The Chinese-developed bolt tensioning machine (Image: CGN)

China's first independently-developed bolt tensioning machine was used to ensure that each of the bolts holding the vessel head onto the reactor vessel was tightened to the required level. CGN subsidiary China Nuclear Power Engineering Company began development of the machine in late 2011. It was completed in May 2015. The machine was trialled during the cold and hot function testing of Fangchenggang 2.

According to CGN, foreign companies have previously monopolized the market for bolt tensioning machines for nuclear reactors. It said the development of a Chinese machine will "promote the localization of equipment, reduce project costs and cut operation and maintenance costs".

The loading of the 157 fuel assemblies into the core of Fangchenggang 2 - a CPR-1000 pressurized water reactor - began on 21 May and was completed three days later. The reactor is scheduled to enter commercial operation in the second half of this year.

Construction of Fangchenggang 3 began in December 2015, while construction of unit 4 is scheduled to begin later this year. These two units are expected to start up in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

The Fangchenggang plant - located near Hongsha village in the Guangxi Autonomous Region - is 39% owned by Guangxi Investment Group and 61% owned by CGN.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News