New reactor design taking shape in China

15 January 2014

The basic design for China's CAP1400 reactor has been approved ahead of construction of the first two units, which is set to start at Shidaowan in April.

The CAP1400 is an enlarged version of the AP1000 pressurized water reactor developed from the Westinghouse original by State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) with consulting input from the American company. As one of China's 16 strategic projects under its National Science and Technology Development Plan, the CAP1400 is intended to be deployed in large numbers across the country. SNPTC said it would have 'independent intellectual property rights' over the design, paving the way for exports to other countries - a commercial possibility SNPTC will explore this year.

A meeting in Beijing last week saw the National Energy Board grant its preliminary approval for the CAP1400 design, which was said to be about 60% complete. The design will reach completion when site specific aspects are taken into account during construction, slated to begin by the end of April. About 80% of components for the first two CAP1400s will be made in China.

CAP1400 Shidaowan (SNPTC) 460x302
How Shidaowan would look with two CAP1400 demonstration units and four series units (background). Such a power plant would produce about 9000 MWe (Image: SNPTC)

Site preparation is well already underway for two demonstration CAP1400 units at Huaneng Group's Shidaowan site in Shandong province. This site is part of a larger Rongcheng Nuclear Power Industrial Park, at which the prototype HTR-PM small modular reactor is already under construction. Another 19 of the 210 MWe units could follow.

Huaneng is China's largest power generation company. The reactors at Shidaowan will be its first nuclear generation assets.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News