Heavy components installed at Taishan

24 January 2013

The completion of the installation of the heavy components marks a further major milestone in the construction of the first EPR unit at the Taishan nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province.

The reactor pressure vessel (RPV), the four steam generators and the pressurizer have now been installed within the reactor building. Areva said that the construction of the unit has "entered a significant new stage."

The first two steam generators and the pressurizer for Taishan 1 were delivered to the construction site in April 2012, with the other two steam generators and the reactor pressure vessel internals arriving shortly afterwards. The steam generators - 25 meters long and weighing 550 tonnes each - were manufactured at Areva's plant at Chalon-St Marcel, France. The RPV - weighing more than 420 tonnes, with a diameter of 5.3 metres and a height of 10.6 metres - was successfully installed on 3 June 2012.

France's minister of foreign trade Nicole Bricq, together with Areva CEO Luc Oursel and EDF CEO Henri Proglio, visited the Taishan site on 22 January to see the progress in constructing two EPRs there.

Oursel commented that completion of the installation of the heavy components just 38 months after first concrete "shows that the work is being done in excellent conditions and that it is benefiting from the experience that we have gained at other EPR sites."

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 €8.0 billion ($10.7 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.

First concrete for unit 1 was poured in October 2009, with the dome of the reactor building being lowered into place on top of the containment building in October 2011. Unit 1 should begin operating in 2013, with unit 2 following in 2014. Two further EPRs are planned for the site.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News