Reactor derivatives for China

18 December 2009

Demonstration of a Chinese AP1000 derivative moved a step closer with a joint venture project company. Construction of the first CAP1400 is scheduled for April 2013.


One reactor is envisaged in the first stage of the demonstration project, to be made real at a site near Weihei in Shandong Province. The pressurized water reactor is to be a development of a Westinghouse design currently being imported with its generating capacity boosted from 1100 MWe to 1400 MWe. Four of the US-designed reactors were ordered in 2007, with technology transfer a major part of the deal.


CAP-1400 (SNPTC)
The deal is struck in Beijing, yesterday (Image: SNPTC)

The State Nuclear Power Corporation (SNPTC) will take the lead with 55% of the project company. The other stakeholder will be Huaneng Nuclear Power Development Corp, a subsidiary China Huaneng Group, one of China's largest power companies. The partners hope their first CAP1400 will begin operation in December 2017.


CAP1400 is expected to be deployed on a scale never before seen in the nuclear industry, with Chinese manufacturing firms establishing module factories amounting to production lines for their fast construction. Beyond CAP1400 could come a further 1700 MWe variant.


China aims to have a nuclear capacity of 120-160 GWe by 2030 with the bulk of this coming from AP1000 variants and the CPR-1000, a development of French technology imported earlier.