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No. 2 Reactor of China's HTGR demonstration project reaches first criticality

The No. 2 reactor of Shidaowan Nuclear Power Plant in East China's Shandong province, the world's first industrial-scale demonstration plant with a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) with a pebble-bed module, reached its first criticality on Nov 11.


It was another major achievement made by the demonstration project after it completed cold and hot tests and fuel loading of double reactors earlier this year and the No. 1 reactor reached the critical stage of success on Sept 12. The HTGR demonstration project has been selected for an exhibition on China's major scientific and technological achievements during the 13th Five-year Plan period (2016-20).

The latest achievement has laid a solid foundation for the demonstration project to be connected to the grid and start power generation by the end of this year. This is also a result of all relevant parties promoting the realization of carbon peak and neutrality goals and the high-quality growth of China's nuclear industry.

With an installed capacity of 200 MW, the HTGR demonstration project started construction in Rongcheng of Shandong in 2012. It represents an important step in advancing the application of China's fourth-generation nuclear power technology.

The HTGR reactors are believed to have broad development prospects in the commercialization of nuclear-driven power generation, combining cooling, heating and power systems and high-temperature heating procedures for their inherent safety, high efficiency of power generation, environmental adaptation and versatility. They have become an important approach for China to optimize its energy mix, guarantee the security of energy supplies and achieve carbon peak and neutrality targets.

As a major participant in the construction of the demonstration project, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has played an important role in multiple fields such as engineering procurement construction (EPC), the production of fuel elements and plant construction. CNNC has blazed a successful path to promote the commercial application of nuclear technologies by deepening cooperation between  Chinergy and Tsinghua University over the past years.

Jointly founded by CNNC and Tsinghua University in 2003, Chinergy has fulfilled the functions of EPC in the construction of HTGR projects to promote the application of HTGR technologies. The firm has stayed committed to its founding mission and fully leveraged relevant roles to promote technological and institutional innovation as part of closer cooperation between the CNNC and Tsinghua University over the past 18 years.

CNNC will make full use of the platform provided by Chinergy in the application of HTGR technologies and strengthen its cooperation with Tsinghua University, as well as other partners, to advance the industrial implementation of HTGR projects and contribute solutions and strength to the realization of national carbon peak and neutrality targets.