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  • Nov 16, 2021
States News Service

The following information was released by the American Nuclear Society (ANS):

The second of the twin reactors making up the Shidaowan nuclear power plant's high-temperature gas-cooled reactor pebble-bed module (HTR-PM) demonstration project reached initial criticality on November 11, China Huaneng Group has announced.

The milestone was achieved two months after the HTR-PM's first unit had reached initial criticality. The two 200-MWe reactors are connected to a single steam turbine.

China Huaneng holds a 47.5 percent stake in the HTR-PM, with the remaining shares distributed between China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (32.5 percent) and Tsinghua University (20 percent). Construction of the facility, located in northeast China's Shandong Province, began in 2012, led by Chinergy, a joint venture between CNEC and Tsinghua.

What they're saying: "At present, the demonstration project No. 1 reactor has completed the zero-power physical test in the low-power stage under helium atmosphere and is carrying out subsequent charging to advance to the goal of grid-connected power generation for the first time," China Huaneng said in a November 12 press release. "Reactor No. 2 will follow the test path of Reactor No. 1 for atmosphere conversion and follow-up tests. This project is the world's first pebble-bed modular high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear power plant, and it is also the world's first demonstration project to commercialize high-temperature gas-cooled reactor nuclear power technology. . . . The commercial application prospects in nuclear power generation, cogeneration of heat, power and cooling, and high-temperature process heat applications have broad prospects."

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