China Expands Uses & Markets for Its HTGRs

Feasibility study for Saudi Arabian HTGR project

(World Nuclear News) (Wire Services) China and Saudi Arabia have signed a cooperation agreement for a joint study on the feasibility of constructing high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs).

The agreement was signed this week in Beijing by China Nuclear Energy Engineering Group (CNEC) president Jun Gu and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE) president Hashim bin Abdullah Yamani. The signing was witnessed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.

In a statement, CNEC said that under the agreement the two companies will  develop system solutions for the investment and construction of HTGRs. They will also examine cooperation in intellectual property and the development of a domestic industrial supply chain for HTGRs built in Saudi Arabia. The feasibility study, it said, will also support the Saudi government in its decisions related to an HTGR project.

The latest agreement follows the signing in January of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between China and Saudi Arabia on the construction of HTGRs.

CNEC said that since the signing of that MOU, the two countries have been looking at site selection for the project, building a regulatory system, training personnel and other aspects of the project.

Although Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program is in its infancy, the Kingdom had at one time plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years. The plan identified nuclear power as essential to help meet growing energy demand for both electricity generation and water desalination, while reducing reliance on depleting hydrocarbon resources.

However, the plan was shelved due to several factors including its ambitious nature relative to the ability of Saudi Arabia to manage it. Also, the precipitous drop in oil prices made the huge program unaffordable. At even the bargain price of $4,000/Kw, 16 Gb of nuclear power came with a stratospheric price tag. Instead, Saudi Arabia has committed to a program of deploying solar energy power stations, but it has not given up on nuclear energy.

Back in September 2015, contracts were signed between the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) and KA-CARE to support their cooperation in developing KAERI’s SMART (System-integrated Modular Advanced Reactor). This is a 330 MWt (100 MWe) pressurized water reactor with integral steam generators and advanced safety features.

CNEC said its credibility to present the HTGR for export is based on a demonstration HTR-PM unit under construction at Shidaowan near Weihai city in China’s Shandong province. That plant will initially comprise twin HTR-PM reactor modules driving a single 210 MWe steam turbine. Construction started in late 2012 and it is scheduled to start commercial operation in late 2017.

A proposal to construct two 600 MWe HTRs at Ruijin city in China’s Jiangxi province passed a preliminary feasibility review in early 2015. The design of the Ruijin HTRs is based on the smaller Shidaowan demonstration HTR-PM. Construction of the Ruijin reactors is expected to start next year, with grid connection in 2021.

CNEC has been actively promoting its HTR technology overseas and has already signed agreements with other countries – including the UAE and South Africa to consider the construction of HTGR plants. Last August CNEC signed an agreement with Indonesia’s National Atomic Energy Agency (Batan) to jointly develop an HTGR in Indonesia.

China’s 4th generation nuclear power plant to go online in 2018

(CCTV) China has unveiled its 13th five-year plan on its nuclear power industry. A number of projects will be up and running in the coming few years. One of them is a high temperature gas-cooled reactor, or HTGR, that is under construction in east China’s Shandong Province. This 4th generation nuclear power plant is expected to generate power in 2018. (English language video)

“The HTGR is expected to be connected to the grid and generate power in 2018. China’s HTGR is now at the forefront of the world,” Wang Yiren, vice chairman of China Atomic Energy Authority, said in the video interview.

He claims that the HTGR’s power-generating efficiency is 25 percent higher than that of the nuclear power units that are currently in operation in China.  And he also claims it will greatly cut costs as modular construction is expected to shorten the construction period once the volume of orders justifies building a factory to produce them.

China Plans Deployment of HTGRs for Central Heating

(China Daily) As China aims to reduce coal consumption to curb pollution, leaders in the nuclear industry have called for construction of low-temperature mini reactors to provide cleaner heating for residential use in North China.

Citing safety, flexibility and efficiency, executives in China’s nuclear power sector have pitched the use of small-scale reactors as an alternative heat source in winter to reduce dependence on plants powered by coal which creates air pollution.

Qian Tianlin, general manager of China Nuclear New Energy Investment, said that the technology of small-scale nuclear reactors, which feature low and controllable core temperatures, is mature enough for trial use.

“Generating heating for a residential district is just one function of the mini nuclear reactors that has bright prospects,” Qian said.

“Compared to traditional thermal sources, nuclear reactors could generate heat without carbon emissions and thus should be seriously considered as a replacement for coal-burning heat,” said Qian.

There is a lot of activity in China with HTGRs

Wang Shoujun, chairman of China National Nuclear Corp, said that China’s first small reactor developed by CNNC for practical use, the ACP100, is expected to be built in Changjiang Li autonomous county, Hainan province, at the end of 2017 with a unit capacity of 125MW.

The operation of such mini reactors is secure because of the much lower core temperature and internal pressure than a typical reactor, said Wan Gang, head of the China Institute of Atomic Energy.

“Technically, it is safe for civilian use in urban areas at the moment,” Wan said.

CNEC has been working with Tsinghua University since 2003 on the design, construction and commercialization of HTR technology. A demonstration HTR-PM unit is under construction at Shidaowan near Weihai city in China’s Shandong province.

That plant will initially comprise twin HTR-PM reactor modules driving a single 210 MWe steam turbine. Construction started in late 2012 and commercial operation is scheduled to start in late 2017.

A proposal to construct two 600 MWe HTRs at Ruijin city in China’s Jiangxi province passed a preliminary feasibility review in early 2015. The design of the Ruijin HTRs is based on the smaller Shidaowan demonstration HTR-PM. Construction of the Ruijin reactors is expected to start next year, with grid connection in 2021.

China Enters Nuclear Energy Market in Indonesia

(WNN) China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (CNEC) has signed an agreement with Indonesia’s National Atomic Energy Agency (Batan) to jointly develop a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) in Indonesia.

In August 2016 a joint project development plan was signed by CNEC chairman Wang Shoujun and Batan chairman Djarot Sulistio Wisnubroto. Under the agreement, CNEC and Batan intend to cooperate on an Indonesian HTGR project and to train workers.

Batan is promoting the introduction of nuclear power plants in Indonesia. It is planning for small HTGRs (up to 100 MWe) for deployment on Kalimantan, Sulawesi and other islands to supply power and heat for industrial use. It is considering building a test and demonstration HTGR with an electrical output of 3-10 MWe and a thermal output of 10-30 MWt.

In August 2014, Batan signed a cooperation agreement with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) on research and development of HTGRs. JAEA has developed a small prototype gas-cooled reactor, the High-Temperature Test Reactor. This is a 30 MWt graphite-moderated helium gas-cooled reactor which achieved first criticality in November 1998.

In April 2015, Rosatom announced that a consortium of Russian and Indonesian companies led by NUKEM Technologies had won a contract for the preliminary design of a multi-purpose 10 MWe HTGR at Serpong in Indonesia.

China’s CNEC said the signing of the agreement with Indonesia “marks further substantial progress in the overseas promotion of HTR technology”.

Construction Of Turkey’s Akkuyu To Start By Year’s End

(NucNet) Construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power station at Akkuyu will begin by the end of 2017, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying by wire services.

President Erdogan, who made his remarks after meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week, said the “final decisions” on the Akkuyu project will be taken in May 2017.

Akkuyu, near Mersin on the Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast, is to be built in cooperation with Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom under a contract signed in 2010. The station will have four 1,200-MW VVER units. This month Akkuyu Nuclear, the joint stock company in charge of the project, applied for a construction licence to the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority.

Turkey has plans for two other nuclear power stations, but has not broken ground on any of them so far.

System Testing Begins At Flamanville-3 EPR With Startup Scheduled For 2018

(NucNet) System performance testing has begun at EDF’s 1,600-MW Flamanville-3 EPR under construction in northern France with reactor startup scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018.

The first phase of the testing is system flushing, EDF said. Water will be circulated at very high flow rates in all pipes connecting safety systems in the primary reactor coolant system, including the reactor vessel.

Cold hydrostatic testing will follow, ensuring all equipment “fulfils the function assigned to it in the design”. EDF said.

The final stage of the system performance testing is hot functional testing, which operates reactor systems at operating temperatures but without fuel in the core.

After the testing phase is completed, the next milestone is the loading of fuel and start-up which is scheduled to take place at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. Project costs had been revised to €10.5bn ($11.3bn). An estimate released in July 2011 was €8bn. When construction began the plant was scheduled to enter service in late 2012 at a cost of €3.3bn.

Applications For 26 Nuclear Plants Being Considered Related To Japan Restarts

(NucNet) Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has accepted applications for 26 nuclear power plants at 16 sites in relation to the restart of reactors following the introduction of new safety and security standards after the March 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident, the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF) said in a statement.

Key among the restarts planned is TEPCO’s seven boiling water reactor units at its Kashiwazaki Kariwa station in Niigita Prefecture in western Japan.

JAIF said examinations at the facility are “generally in their final stages.” There remain, however, a number of points of contention that need to be resolved including issues related to an emergency response area in the main anti-earthquake building and an emergency response area within the Unit-5 reactor building.  Local opposition to restart of the reactors remains a key sticking point.

Japan’s Kyodo news agency said recently that Tepco, has been trying to reactivate the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant, the world’s largest by generation capacity, to generate “much-needed revenue” to offset rising costs and redress claims stemming from the 2011 accident.

Toshiba To Speed Up Consideration Of Westinghouse Nuclear Business Sale

(NucNet) Japan’s Toshiba Corp said on March 14th it will speed up looking at whether it should sell a majority of its US-based Westinghouse nuclear power business. Toshiba plans to review the positioning of Westinghouse and “aggressively consider strategic options for it”, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Reuters has reported that the firm is considering a bankruptcy filing for its U.S. business unit, which could throw the construction of four AP1000s in the U.S. into a period of uncertainty.

Toshiba said last month it expects to book a loss of $6.2bn from Westinghouse in the third quarter of fiscal year 2016. The cost overruns are caused by multiple factors, but all of them are tied to mis-management of the acquisition of CB&I by Westinghouse and disputes related to the pricing of of elements of the deal.

CB&I has been a key supplier for the construction of the V.C. Summer nuclear power station in South Carolina and the Vogtle station in Georgia in the US. There are two AP1000 units under construction at both sites.

Toshiba said it will consider participating in the Moorside new-build project in Cumbria, northwest England, but “without taking on any risk from carrying out actual construction work.”

Toshiba has said it plans to focus on its nuclear fuel and equipment supply businesses and will not provide engineering, procurement and construction contractor services for future overseas projects. Toshiba said it intends to reduce risk at nuclear projects in progress by implementing comprehensive cost reduction measures.

GAIN Releases News on Small Business Vouchers for Development of Nuclear Technologies

The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) announced that it has funds available for small business vouchers to assist applicants developing nuclear energy technologies. GAIN is located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Idaho Falls, ID, and the vouchers come with opportunities for collaboration with lab scientists and engineers

The small business vouchers are provided by the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy to support nuclear energy innovation in the small business sector.

“The objective of GAIN is to accelerate cost-effective commercialization of innovative nuclear energy technologies,” said Rita Baranwal, GAIN director.

“This cost-sharing initiative enables partnerships with small businesses and provides them with access to the technical, regulatory and financial support necessary to bridge the gap to delivering new technologies to market.”

More information on the vouchers and eligibility requirements are available at gain.inl.gov.

The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear is a U.S. Department of Energy initiative to provide the nuclear industrial community with access to the technical, regulatory, and financial support necessary to move new or advanced nuclear technologies toward commercialization while ensuring the continued safe, reliable, and economic operation of the existing nuclear fleet.

Day-to-day management of GAIN is the responsibility of Idaho National Laboratory. See more GAIN news at gain.inl.gov. Follow @GAINnuclear on Twitter or visit the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/GAINnuclear.

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One Response to China Expands Uses & Markets for Its HTGRs

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