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China begins mass production of its Hualong-1 nuclear power units

A night view a Hualong-1 construction site at Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant. /Photo provided by Hainan Nuclear Power

China’s self-developed third-generation nuclear power unit Hualong-1 has entered the quantity production phase after the unit’s first commercial operation in January last year.

Two new Hualong-1 units are under construction at the Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant in China’s southern island province of Hainan where some 30 percent of energy is created by nuclear power.

More than 9,000 workers and 1,000 management staff are working at the construction site, according to the constructors.

“We hope the new units at the Changjiang power plant can get connected to the grid as soon as possible,” said Zhang Daqian, a senior engineer at the China Nuclear Industry 22nd Construction Company.

Constructors at Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant. /CGTN

The construction project in Changjiang is proceeding smoothly, using the experience gained at the Hualong-1 demonstration project, and the big dome for one of the two power units will be installed next year, as per the schedule.

The third generation of Hualong-1 technology adopts multiple new safety measures to prevent accidents. And for the new units, Chinese engineers have already adopted 86 optimization schemes to improve demonstration projects.

“For example, we will use thermal plasma technology to incinerate waste, like protective equipment. The volume of the waste can be shrunk by a factor of over 50,” said Chen Jianxin, the chief engineer at Hainan Nuclear Power.

“If there are 200 tonnes of such waste, we could save more than ten million yuan,” he said.

Chen Jianxin, chief engineer at Hainan Nuclear Power, talks with CGTN.

The chief engineer says the power unit will focus more on passive safety measures and make them simpler to use.

Project managers say the safe and comprehensive use of green energy sources, like nuclear, wind and solar power, will help achieve carbon neutrality goals and better protect the environment.

Source: CGTN