Lower tier of Tianwan 8's inner containment dome lifted into place

15 March 2024

The lower part of the inner containment building's dome has a diameter of 44 metres at its base and is just over 12 metres high. The upper dome part will be lifted and welded into position in a separate operation.

(Image: CNNC)

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said that wind and weather allowed the hoisting to go ahead on 13 March, with a 2000-tonne crawler crane slowly lifting the tier to a height of 50.5 metres. It then went through a series of rotations and precise movements before being installed in position on the containment building at a height of 44.6 metres.

The plant uses a double containment to maximise safety, with reinforced concrete protecting the plant from external hazards including natural disasters such as earthquakes. The installation of the lower tier of the internal containment dome at Tianwan 8, follows a similar process for Tianwan 7 in May 2023. The two units are expected to be put into operation in 2026 and 2027 respectively.

(Image: CNNC)

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, with work launched in May 2021 at a ceremony attended via video-link by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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

Alexey Bannik, vice president for projects in China and advanced projects of Atomstroyexport, part of Rosatom, said: "Installation of the dome on the reactor building of the power unit is one of the key events at the construction site ... in the coming months, the hermetic shell of the reactor building will be installed and concreted, and the installation of the main equipment of the reactor compartment will begin - the reactor vessel, steam generators, the main circulation pipeline."

Jiangsu Nuclear Power Company says that when the eight unit plant is completed, Tianwan's clean energy will avoid the equivalent of 57.4 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide emissions, adding that its construction goal for units 7 and 8 was to be a high quality "benchmark project" and added that, to ensure the hoisting's success, "builders from Jiangsu Nuclear Power, CNNC Engineering, CNNC Consulting, CNNC Huaxing, CNNC 23, CNNC Machinery and other units formed a Tianwan project team to systematically plan" the process.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News