First HTR-PM vessel head in place

04 January 2018

The pressure vessel head has been installed at one of the two high-temperature gas-cooled reactor units that make up the demonstration HTR-PM plant under construction at Shidaowan in China's Shandong province.

HTR-PM vessel head installed - 460 (CNI23)
The HTR-PM vessel head (Image: CNI23)

The pressure vessel head was installed on unit 2 on 27 December, China Nuclear Industry 23 Construction Company Limited (CNI23) announced. In an operation lasting about 1 hour and 35 minutes, the 80-tonne component was attached to the pressure vessel with 76 bolts.

"This is the first installation of the pressure vessel cover of the world's first Gen IV reactor, indicating that the internal installation of the reactor pressure vessel has been completed before the closure," CNI23 noted.

Work began on the demonstration HTR-PM unit - which features two small reactors and a turbine - at China Huaneng's Shidaowan site in December 2012. China Huaneng is the lead organisation in the consortium to build the demonstration units together with China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (CNEC) and Tsinghua University's Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, which is the research and development leader. Chinergy, a joint venture of Tsinghua and CNEC, is the main contractor for the nuclear island.

The demonstration plant's twin HTR-PM reactors will drive a single 210 MWe turbine.

The pressure vessel of the first reactor was installed within the unit's containment building in March 2016. The vessel - about 25 metres in height and weighing about 700 tonnes - was manufactured by Shanghai Electric Nuclear Power Equipment. The second reactor pressure vessel was installed later that year.

The first of the graphite moderator spheres was loaded within the core of the first reactor in April last year. In July, the thermal hydraulic parameters of the steam generator were validated. The demonstration HTR-PM is expected to be connected to the grid and start electricity generation this year.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News