China takes localization step in nuclear power

China has taken another step in localizing key nuclear power equipment for its steadily growing nuclear energy program.

A key piece of equipment for the passive core cooling system of the AP1000 — a two-loop pressurized water reactor manufactured by Westinghouse Electric Company — has been developed by China’s Dongfang Electric Corporation.

The equipment, China’s first domestically produced passive residual heat exchanger, was shipped from southern Guangdong Province to the Haiyang Nuclear Station in northern Shandong Province on Feb. 29.

The heat exchanger has a direct bearing on the safety of the reactor, a Dongfang Electric spokesman said in Guangzhou.

“The new heat exchanger produced by our company is a step forward in the localization of nuclear equipment,” the spokesman said.

The Haiyang Nuclear Station, with a total investment of 80 billion yuan (12.7 billion U.S. dollars), plans to build six reactor units. Dongfang Electric Corporation will supply heat exchangers and stabilizers to two units.

China’s first nuclear power station at Qinshan in Zhejiang Province was based on Chinese design and construction. Since then, several nuclear plants have used reactor technologies from France and the United States, among others.


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