Start up of Chinese industrial nuclear steam project begins

04 March 2024

Commissioning has begun of China's first industrial-use nuclear energy steam supply project, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced. The project at the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China's Jiangsu province will supply steam to a nearby petrochemical plant.

The industrial steam facility at Tianwan (Image: CNNC)

The project is being jointly carried out by CNNC subsidiary Jiangsu Nuclear Power Company and the Lianyungang Petrochemical Industry Base in Xuwei New District, Lianyungang City. In the project, steam will be extracted from the secondary circuits of units 3 and 4 of the Tianwan plant, two Russian-supplied VVER-1000 units. After passing through multi-stage heat exchange, the heat will be transported via an insulated above-ground pipeline to the Lianyungang Petrochemical Industrial Base for industrial production and utilisation.

The construction of the pile foundation for the project began in February 2022, with the pouring of first concrete for the industrial steam facility taking place in May 2022.

"The volume of the project is comparable to the construction of a conventional island of one million kilowatt nuclear power units," CNNC noted. "During the construction of the project, civil work such as the construction of 1689 pile foundations and 57,000 square meters of concrete pouring were completed."

The total length of the long-distance steam supply main line of the Tianwan nuclear power steam energy supply project is approximately 23.36 kilometres. The pipeline network extends from the Tianwan nuclear power plant to the Xuwei Petrochemical Industrial Park, "which is currently the longest transmission path for nuclear energy heat supply". The Tianwan plant is equipped with four steam conversion devices. The industrial superheated steam transmitted out of the nuclear power plant has a pressure of 1.8 MPa and a rated flow rate of 600 tonnes per hour.

CNNC has now said the project has entered the commissioning stage, during which workers will carry out comprehensive commissioning between the nuclear power plant and off-site steam users. This, it said, mainly involves steam pipeline preheating, joint purging, comprehensive testing and other steps.

On 2 March, the steam flow rate in the steam energy supply thermal control room showed that the steam flow reached 280 tonnes per hour and continued to operate stably.

CNNC said the project "is a new way to use nuclear energy to solve the steam demand of the petrochemical industry, reduce comprehensive energy consumption and eliminate environmental pollution."

The facility is expected to supply 4.8 million tonnes of steam annually, which will reduce the burning of standard coal by 400,000 tonnes per year, and the equivalent emission reduction of 1.07 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, 184 tonnes of sulphur dioxide and 263 tonnes of nitrogen oxides

It is expected to be officially put into operation in June.

The Tianwan nuclear power plant is owned and operated by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Company, a joint venture between CNNC (50%), China Power Investment Corporation (30%) and Jiangsu Guoxin Group (20%).

Researched and written by World Nuclear News