China approves construction of demonstration SMR
The construction of a demonstration ACP100 small modular reactor (SMR) at Changjiang in Hainan province has been approved by China’s National Development and Reform Commission. The multi-purpose 125 MWe pressurized water reactor (PWR) - also referred to as the Linglong One - is designed for electricity production, heating, steam production, or seawater desalination.
China National Nuclear Power (CNNP) - a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) - announced the approval in a 4 June notice to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. It said the Hainan Changjiang Multi-purpose Small Modular Reactor Technology Demonstration Project is owned by CNNC Hainan Nuclear Power Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNNP, and adopts the Linglong One small nuclear reactor technology of the company’s controlling shareholder, CNNC.
“The small reactor demonstration project is of great significance to promote the safe development and independent innovation of nuclear power,” CNNP said. It did not say when construction of the demonstration ACP100 is scheduled to begin, nor when it is due to be commissioned.
CNNC announced in July 2019 the launch of a project to construct an ACP100 reactor at Changjiang. Under development since 2010, the ACP100 integrated PWR’s preliminary design was completed in 2014. The major components of its primary coolant circuit are installed within the reactor pressure vessel. In 2016, the design became the first SMR to pass a safety review by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The ACP100 was identified as a ‘key project’ in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan, and is developed from the larger ACP1000 PWR. The design, which has 57 fuel assemblies and integral steam generators, incorporates passive safety features and will be installed underground. In 2016, China announced plans to build a demonstration floating nuclear power plant based on the ACP100S variant of the CNNC design.
The demonstration ACP100 plant would be located on the north-west side of the existing Changjiang nuclear power plant, according to a March 2019 announcement from China’s Ministry of Environment. The site is already home to two operating CNP600 PWRs, while the construction of the first of two Hualong One units began in March this year. Both those units are due to enter commercial operation by the end of 2026.