IAEA safety review for Chinese small reactor

21 April 2015

China's ACP100 multi-purpose small modular reactor (SMR) design is to undergo a safety review following the recent signing of an agreement between China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The agreement was signed by CNNC chief engineer Lei Zengguang and IAEA deputy director general Denis Flory (Image: CNNC)

CNNC announced today that it had signed an agreement with the IAEA on 16 April for the IAEA to undertake a Generic Reactor Safety Review (GRSR) of the ACP100.

The GRSR process reviews the completely- or partially-developed safety cases of new reactor designs that are not yet in the licensing stage. It involves an international team of experts evaluating design safety case claims against selected and applicable IAEA safety standards.

The review is scheduled to begin in July and is expected to take seven months to complete, CNNC said. During this time, the IAEA will examine the reactor's safety, prepare environmental analysis reports and look at other aspects of the design, the company said.

The ACP100 is a 'key project' of China's 12th Five-Year Plan. The preliminary design of the reactor was completed in 2014, ready for construction to start in 2015, with operation following in 2017. However, the design still awaits approval from the National Development and Reform Commission.

The design incorporates passive safety features and will be installed underground. Its 310 MWt pressurized water reactor produces about 100 to 150 MWe, and power plants comprising two to eight of these are envisaged, with 60-year design life and 24-month refueling. The reactor can also be used for desalination, as well as industrial and district heat applications. The design could also be used on a floating nuclear power plant.

A demonstration plant featuring two ACP100 reactors is planned for Putian in China's Fujian Province.

CNNC's larger ACP1000 reactor design successfully passed an IAEA generic reactor safety review last December. It was the first Chinese-designed reactor to have undergone review by the IAEA.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News