Pressure vessel installed at second Zhangzhou unit

11 August 2022

The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) has been hoisted into place at unit 2 of the Zhangzhou nuclear power plant in China's Fujian province. Zhangzhou 2 is the second of two Hualong One units being built at the site, scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

The RPV is prepared for installation (Image: CNNC)

The RPV - weighing 316 tonnes - was designed by China National Nuclear Corporation's (CNNC's) China Nuclear Power Research & Design Institute and manufactured by China First Heavy Machinery. It was installed within the reactor building on 9 August.

Last week, CNNC announced that all three steam generators for Zhangzhou 2 had been installed over a record five-day period, between 29 July and 2 August.

The RPV is hoisted into place within the reactor building (Image: CNNC)

"This is another major progress made in the pre-introduction of the main equipment after the successful hoisting of the three steam generators of the unit, creating a prerequisite for the subsequent hoisting of the inner dome and the welding of the main pipeline," CNNC said.

The RPV of unit 1 was installed in October 2021.

CNNC has adopted the "main equipment first-introduction method" of construction for both Zhangzhou units 1 and 2, where a large crawler crane is used to lower the main equipment into the reactor building before the containment dome has been installed, rather than the traditional way of completing civil construction prior to installing the major components.

In May 2014, the local government gave approval for Phase I of the Zhangzhou plant, comprising two AP1000 units. The National Nuclear Safety Administration gave approval in December 2015 for the AP1000 units and confirmed site selection in October 2016. Construction of Phase I had originally been expected to start in May 2017. However, CNNC subsequently decided to use the Hualong One design instead. Two more units are planned for Phase II of the plant and a further two proposed for Phase III.

China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued construction licences for Zhangzhou units 1 and 2 on 9 October 2019 to CNNC-Guodian Zhangzhou Energy Company, the owner of the Zhangzhou nuclear power project which was created by CNNC (51%) and China Guodian Corporation (49%) in 2011. Construction of unit 1 began one week after the issuance of the construction licence, with that of unit 2 starting in September 2020.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News