Last module for first AP1000

22 January 2014

The distinctive cylindrical water tank was lifted into place at the AP1000 under construction at Sanmen in China's Zhejiang province. The 312 tonne module is the last for the new reactor unit.

The water tank is put in place on Sanmen 1 (Image: CNEC)

Lifting the module into place took China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (CNEC) about 2 hours and 30 minutes on the morning of 19 January. The company said the procedure was aided by a new 'wireless lifting dynamometer system' featuring real-time feedback of 16 variables describing the component's position, motion as well as environmental conditions including the wind.

The large round component is the containment cooling tank, a major part of the AP1000's safety systems. It will hold a large amount of water ready to flow down to evaporate from the surface of the containment vessel in any emergency situation where the reactor system may be overheating. This evaporation would help to cool the overall system. The water could also be directed to top up the used fuel pool, while the tank itself can be refilled from water stored elsewhere on site.

The positioning of the module completes the distinctive silhouette of the AP1000 design, while fit-out and preparation continues inside. Sanmen 1 will be the first AP1000 unit in operation, ahead of Haiyang 1 in Shandong province, with both expected to come into operation before the end of this year. Other units will follow at both sites within another year.

Around the world, four AP1000s are under construction at Vogtle and Summer in the USA, while Westinghouse together with its majority owner Toshiba are pursuing the construction of three at Moorside in the UK. A further six AP1000s are proposed for India's Mithi Virdi site.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News