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Major module installed at Xudabao 1

The largest and heaviest module – the CA20 – has been installed at unit 1 of the Xudabao nuclear power plant in China’s Liaoning province, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) subsidiary China Nuclear Industry 23 Construction Company Limited (CNI23) has announced.

The CA20 module – 20.6 metres long, 14.2 metres wide and 21 metres high and weighing just over 1000 tonnes – was hoisted into place on 24 January, CNI23 said.

The cuboid-shaped module will comprise of plant and equipment for used fuel storage, transmission, the heat exchanger and waste collection, among other things.

The crane prepares to lift the module (Image: Zhang Shuning / CNI23)

“The hoisting and placement of CA20 this time is another important milestone after the bottom head of unit 1 of Xudabao nuclear power plant was put in place, laying a solid foundation for the subsequent construction of the nuclear island,” CNI23 said.

The construction of units 1 and 2 of the Xudabao (also known as Xudapu) plant was approved by China’s State Council on 31 July last year.

Workers watch on as the module is hoisted (Image: Zhang Shuning / CNI23)

On 6 November, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced that the National Nuclear Safety Administration had decided to issue a construction licence for Xudabao units 1 and 2, which will both feature 1250 MWe CAP1000 reactors – the Chinese version of the Westinghouse AP1000. A ceremony was held on 15 November at the Xudabao (also known as Xudapu) site near Xingcheng City, Huludao, to mark the start of construction of unit 1.

The Xudabao project was originally expected to comprise six CAP1000 reactors, with units 1 and 2 in the first phase. Site preparation began in November 2010. The National Development and Reform Commission gave its approval for the project in January 2011.

However, with a change in plans, construction of two Russian-supplied VVER-1200 reactors as Xudabao units 3 and 4 began in July 2021 and May 2022, respectively. These units are expected to be commissioned in 2027 and 2028.

The Xudabao plant is owned by Liaoning Nuclear Power Company Ltd, in which CNNC holds a 70% stake with Datang International Power Generation Co holding 20% and State Development and Investment Corporation owning 10%. The general contractor is China Nuclear Power Engineering Company Ltd, a subsidiary of CNNC.

Source: World Nuclear News