Reactor vessel installed at Chinese Hualong One unit

29 January 2018

The reactor pressure vessel has been installed at the demonstration Hualong One being constructed as unit 5 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in China's Fujian province. The reactor is expected to start up next year.

Fuqing 5 RPV installation - 460 (CNEC)
The pressure vessel is installed at Fuqing 5 (Image: China Nuclear Engineering & Construction) 

The vessel was introduced into the 16.5-meter platform of the reactor building on 17 January. In an operation lasting almost nine hours, the component was moved into position on its support ring yesterday, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has announced.

The pressure vessel was independently designed by China Nuclear Power Research and Design Institute and manufactured by China First Heavy Machinery. The vessel completed hydraulic pressure tests in April last year. These tests confirmed the integrity of the vessel's welds and seals.

Installation of the reactor pressure vessel marks the completion of the installation of the unit's major components, CNNC said. Installation of the three steam generators and pump casings was completed early this month January.

In November 2014, CNNC announced that the fifth and sixth units at Fuqing will use the domestically-developed Hualong One PWR design, marking its first deployment. The company had previously expected to use the ACP1000 design for those units, but plans were revised in line with a re-organisation of the Chinese nuclear industry. China's State Council gave final approval for construction of Fuqing units 5 and 6 in April 2015.

The pouring of first concrete for Fuqing 5 began in May that year, marking the official start of construction of the unit. Construction of unit 6 began in December the same year. The dome of unit 5 was installed on the containment building in May last year. Fuqing 5 and 6 are scheduled to be completed in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Construction of two Hualong One units is also under way at China General Nuclear's (CGN's) Fangchenggang plant in Guangxi province. Those units - based on CGN's version of the design - are also expected to start up in 2019 and 2020, respectively. CGN proposes to use a UK version of its design - the HPR1000 - at a prospective new nuclear power plant at Bradwell, England.

Two HPR1000 units are also under construction at Pakistan's Karachi nuclear power plant. Construction began on Karachi unit 2 in 2015 and unit 3 in 2016. The reactor pressure vessel was installed at Karachi 2 last October. The units are planned to enter commercial operation in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News