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China / CNNC Announces Progress At Generation IV Shidao Bay HTR-PM

By David Dalton
5 May 2020

Beijing has been developing HTGR technology since the 1970s
CNNC Announces Progress At Generation IV Shidao Bay HTR-PM
The Shidao Bay nuclear stationin eastern China. Photo courtesy CNNC.
The reactor pressure vessel, steam generator and hot gas duct of the second reactor at the Shidao Bay-1 high-temperature gas-cooled reactor-pebble bed module (HTR-PM) demonstration plant under construction in China have been successfully paired and connected, China National Nuclear Corporation said.

The connection for the first of the twin modules was finished on 28 April 2020. The same work had already been finished on 18 March for the second module.

Work on the demonstration HTGR at Shidao Bay in Shandong province, eastern China, began in December 2012.

China has been developing HTGR technology since the 1970s. The Shidaowan HTR-PM had been expected to start generation in 2019, which would have made it the first Generation IV reactor to enter operation.

CNNC has not given an estimated operation date and has not offered any reason for the delay.

The gas-cooled HTR-PM is a Generation-IV reactor design with twin reactor modules of 100 MW each driving a single 200-MW steam turbine.

Its fuel is in the form of thousands of six-centimetre graphite pebbles containing uranium enriched to 8.9 percent uranium-235. Instead of cooling water, the reactor’s graphite core is bathed in inert helium gas with an outlet temperature of up to 750 °C.

In line with the Generation-IV concept, the HTR-PM reactor can shut down safely in the event of an emergency without causing a core meltdown or significant leak of radioactive material.

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