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China / Cold Functional Testing Complete At Second Shidao Bay Reactor

By David Dalton
5 November 2020

Cold Functional Testing Complete At Second Shidao Bay Reactor
The Shidao Bay nuclear power plant in China. Courtesy CNNC.
Cold functional testing was completed at the second reactor of the Generation IV Shidao Bay-1 high-temperature gas-cooled reactor-pebble bed module (HTR-PM) demonstration plant under construction in China, China National Nuclear Corporation said.

The aim of the cold tests was to verify the reactor’s primary loop system and equipment and the strength and tightness of its auxiliary pipelines under pressure higher than the design pressure.

Identical tests at the first reactor of the twin-reactor HTR-PM plant began on 6 October and were completed on 19 October.

Cold functional tests at other types of reactors use water, while those at the HTR-PM reactor used compressed air and a small amount of helium which is pressurised to a maximum of 8.9 MPa.

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.

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