Core catcher casing installed at Tianwan 8

21 October 2022

The core catcher casing has been installed at unit 8 of the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China's Jiangsu province, marking the start of installation of the unit's nuclear island main equipment, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced.

The core catcher case being hoisted at Tianwan 8 (Image: CNNC)

The 6.1-metre-high, 156-tonne casing is part of the core catcher, which is designed to catch the molten core material - corium - of a nuclear reactor in case of a nuclear meltdown and prevent it from escaping the containment building. The other main components of the core catcher include block-cassettes filled with special non-metallic materials, a maintenance platform, a cantilever truss and a bottom plate.

Construction of Tianwan 8 officially got under way on 25 February with the pouring of first concrete for the reactor's nuclear island.

In June 2018, Russia and China signed four agreements, including for the construction of two VVER-1200 reactors as units 7 and 8 of the Tianwan plant. In addition, two further VVER-1200 units were to be constructed at the new Xudabao (also known as Xudapu) site in Huludao, Liaoning province.

Work on Tianwan 7 and 8 and Xudabao 3 and 4 was launched on 19 May last year at a ceremony attended via video-link by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The ceremony included the pouring of first concrete for Tianwan 7.

The core catcher casing was installed at unit 7 in January this year.

Tianwan 7 and 8 are scheduled to be commissioned in 2026-2027.

The Tianwan plant is owned and operated by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation, a joint venture between CNNC (50%), China Power Investment Corporation (30%) and Jiangsu Guoxin Group (20%).

Researched and written by World Nuclear News