Dome hoisted into place on Xudapu 3

26 July 2023

The dome has been hoisted into place on the reactor building of Xudapu unit 3 in a single stage process, six months ahead of schedule, with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) describing the project as "a model of global energy cooperation".

(Image: CNNC)

The Xudapu unit, in Liaoning province, is one of four VVER-1200 reactors being supplied by Russia to China under a 2018 agreement. CNNC said units 3 and 4 at Xudapu were "expected to become a global benchmark in the field of nuclear safety".

It added that the area had seen winter temperatures as low as minus 20°C and said "all parties involved in the construction braved the severe cold, wind and snow, and fought against the bad weather from the beginning" while, all the time, insisting on putting safety and quality first.

In June 2018, Russia and China signed four agreements, including for the construction of two VVER-1200 reactors at the new Xudapu (also known as Xudabao) site. Agreements signed in June 2019 included a general contract for the construction of Xudapu units 3 and 4, as well as a contract for the supply of nuclear fuel. Rosatom is designing the nuclear island, supplying key equipment, as well as providing field supervision, installation supervision, and commissioning services for the supplied equipment. Turbine generators and balance of plant will be supplied by China.

Construction of Xudapu unit 3 began in July 2021, with that of unit 4 starting in May 2022.

Rosatom said the lifting and installation of the dome on the reactor building had taken place in one stage, compared with the two stages used in installation in earlier construction of Russian nuclear power plants.

Alexei Bannik, Vice President for Projects in China and Advanced Projects of JSC Atomstroyexport, praised the "effective joint work of the Russian and Chinese specialists" and said that "a unique technological operation" allowed the fully assembled 740-tonne dome to be lifted by a crane and placed on the reactor building 188 days before its contracted date. CNNC noted that the process required great precision, with an allowable deviation of just plus or minus 3mm.

The next stage will be concrete work inside and outside the dome and the installation of large equipment. Commissioning of the units is scheduled for 2027 and 2028.

The Xudapu plant is owned by Liaoning Nuclear Power Company Limited, a joint venture between CNNC (70%), Datang International Power Generation Company (20%) and State Development and Investment Corporation (10%).

Researched and written by World Nuclear News