First two AP1000s move closer to commissioning

26 May 2016

The integrated head package has been installed on top of the AP1000 reactor pressure vessel of unit 1 of the Haiyang nuclear power plant in China's Shandong province. Meanwhile, hydraulic testing has been completed of the primary circuit of Sanmen 1, expected to be the first Westinghouse AP1000 to begin operating.  

Haiyang 1 RPV lid - 460 (SNPTC)  
The integrated head package is placed upon the reactor vessel of Haiyang 1
(Image: SNPTC)

The integrated head package combines several separate components in one assembly and aims to allow the rapid removal of the reactor vessel head during a refueling outage. It includes a lifting rig, seismic restraints for control rod drive mechanisms, support for reactor head vent piping, power cables, cables and a conduit for in-core instrumentation, cable supports and the cooling shroud assembly. Mounted directly on the reactor vessel head, the system helps to minimize the time, manpower and radiation exposure associated with head removal and replacement during refueling.

Sanmen 1 hydraulic tests

SNPTC announced that hydraulic testing had been completed of the three-loop primary circuit of the Sanmen 1 AP1000.

The tests involved filling the reactor's primary circuit with water, which is circulated by the reactor coolant pumps to verify that the welds, joints, pipes and components of the reactor coolant system and associated high-pressure systems meet regulatory standards. The pressure within the circuit was raised to a maximum of 21.6 MPa, while the water in the circuit was heated to 60°C.

Sanmen 1 will now undergo a series of three thermals tests before being loaded with fuel and started up later this year.

The 215-tonne integrated head package for Haiyang 1 was installed on the reactor vessel yesterday, plant constructor State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) announced.

In September 2007, Westinghouse and its partners the Shaw Group received authorization to construct four AP1000 units in China: two at Sanmen in Zhejiang province and two more at Haiyang in Shandong province.

Sanmen unit 1 is expected to be the first AP1000 to begin operating, in September, while Haiyang 1 is expected to start up by the end of the year. Containment tests have already been successfully conducted at both units. All four Chinese AP1000s are scheduled to be in operation by the end of 2017.

Four AP1000 reactors are being built in the USA - two each at Vogtle and Summer - while three AP1000s are also proposed for the Moorside site in the UK.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News