Reactor internals installed at Sanmen AP1000

20 August 2014

At Sanmen 1 the first components of the reactor itself have been put into position after a year of preparation.

On 18 August Chinese engineers lifted the upper and lower sections of the new AP1000 reactor internals into position. These steel structures sit within the reactor pressure vessel and will support the fuel assemblies and control rods.

Sanmen 1 internals installed, August 2014 (CNNC) 460x306
Sanmen 1 internals installed (CNNC) 460x306
The reactor internals are lowered using the reactor building's internal crane (Images: CNNC)

Sanmen 1 in Zhejiang province is the first AP1000 unit to be built and there is "no direct experience to draw on," noted China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation. A year of meticulous planning was required to ensure successful installation the company said. The reactor has been under construction since March 2009.

China National Nuclear Corporation said valuable experience had been gained. Three further AP1000s are at earlier stages of construction in China: another at Sanmen, and two more at Haiyang in Shandong province.

Four reactors of the same design are currently being built in the USA - two each at Vogtle and Summer - while three AP1000s are also proposed for the Moorside site in the UK.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News