Reactor building internal structures completed at Chinese SMR

09 March 2023

The completion of the main internal structure of the reactor building for the ACP100 small modular reactor (SMR) demonstration project at the Changjiang nuclear power plant has been announced by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

The construction site of the ACP100 at Changjiang (Image: CNNC)

CNNC said the pouring of concrete for the wall panels over 7 metres above the internal structure of reactor building "creates good conditions for the subsequent introduction of main equipment and the hoisting of the steel containment top head".

Compared with traditional nuclear power technology, "miniaturisation, modularisation, and integration" are the outstanding features of the ACP100 reactor - also referred to as the Linglong One - according to CNNC. "Its main body is wrapped in a steel safety shell, and the overall thickness of the concrete floor is over 7.5m. Because it has dense steel bars and many pre-embedded items, a small space structure and other characteristics, the construction is extremely complex," it added.

CNNC announced in July 2019 the launch of a project to construct an ACP100 reactor at Changjiang on China's island province of Hainan. The site is already home to two operating CNP600 PWRs, while the construction of the two Hualong One units began in March and December 2021. Both those units are due to enter commercial operation by the end of 2026.

First concrete for the multi-purpose 125 MWe pressurised water reactor (PWR) was poured on 13 July 2021, with a planned total construction period of 58 months. The final tank of concrete for the underground retaining walls of the conventional island of the reactor was poured in August last year. Equipment installation work commenced in December.

Under development since 2010, the ACP100 integrated PWR's preliminary design was completed in 2014. The major components of its primary coolant circuit are installed within the reactor pressure vessel. In 2016, the design became the first SMR to pass a safety review by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News