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Hongyanhe district heating project into final stages

Construction is reportedly 95% complete on the demonstration nuclear heating project at the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant in China’s Liaoning province and it aims to be up and running within the next month.

The China Nuclear Energy Association, citing the Dalian Daily newspaper, said that construction has progressed well since July for the project which is jointly funded and being built by Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Company and State Power Investment Northeast Electric Power Company.

Liaoning Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Co is responsible for the renovation of the heat source on the site and the construction of the primary pipe network and ancilliary facilities, while State Power Investment Northeast Electric Power Co’s subsidiary Dalian Dafa Energy Branch is responsible for the construction and operation of the secondary network – including a secondary pipe network of 5.7 kilometres – production and operation centre and heat exchange station.

The demonstration project is scheduled to be completed on 25 October, operating in a hot state on 1 November and reaching the official heating standard on 5 November.

According to China Environment, in a report also cited by the China Nuclear Energy Association, it had been told that the project “has been completed about 95%” and that at the start it will cover Hongyanhe Town, 10 kilometres away from the nuclear power plant, with a heating user area of more than 240,000 square metres. In total about 20,000 residents will benefit from it.

The environmental protection benefits from the completed project are estimated as the reduction of annual coal consumption by 12,100 tonnes, smoke and dust emissions by more than 209 tonnes, sulphur dioxide by more than 60 tonnes, carbon dioxide by more than 14,000 tonnes, nitrogen oxides by more than 85 tonnes, and ash by more than 0.26 tonnes.

This is the first district heating project in the north-east of China. The Chinese government has made clean-energy heating a priority. In 2017, the authorities issued guidance on clean heating in winter in northern China. The National Energy Administration released a five-year plan, covering 2017-2021, highlighting the innovation of clean heating technology and consideration of nuclear heating.

China’s Haiyang nuclear power plant in Shandong province officially started providing district heat to the surrounding area in November 2020. A trial of the project – the country’s first commercial nuclear heating project – was carried out the previous winter, providing heat to 700,000 square metres of housing, including the plant’s dormitory and some local residents. This year the Haiyang Nuclear Energy Heating Project began providing heating to the entire Haiyang city.

The first phase of a district heating demonstration project at the Qinshan nuclear power plant in China’s southern Zhejiang Province was commissioned in December 2021. The project is divided into three phases. The initial phase now provides nuclear energy-generated central heating to 460,000 square metres of accommodation in three residential areas and 5000 square metres of apartments for nearly 4000 residents of Haiyan County. The overall project goal is to have a nuclear heating area of ​​4 million square metres by 2025, covering the main urban area of ​​Haiyan County and the entire area of ​​Shupu Town.

Russia, several East European countries, Switzerland and Sweden have all had nuclear-fuelled district heating schemes, and heat from nuclear power plants has also been sent to industrial sites in several countries.

Source: World Nuclear News