China: different technologies considered for the nuclear program

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Published on 16/11/2021

Nuclear energy – China does not “put all its eggs in one basket” 🧺 #GenIV

In addition to the launch of conventional pressurized water reactors (Generation III) in series, it is also testing several Generation IV technologies in parallel.

Fourth generation HTR-PM high temperature gas nuclear reactors, units 1 and 2 at the Shidaowan site, have both reached first criticality, marking the start of their operation. Next step: connection to the electricity grid.

Construction of the 210 MWe Shidaowan HTR-PM demonstration unit began in late 2012. The successful operation of the unit could pave the way for 600 MWe commercial units.

18 other HTR-PM reactors are proposed for the Shidaowan site. The larger scale version called HTR-PM600 will have a large 650 MWe turbine driven by six HTR-PM reactors.

High temperature reactors have significant advantages, also opening up new applications beyond electricity. The production of hydrogen at high temperatures and the manufacture of steel in particular would be of great help in decarbonization efforts.

Used for the production of electricity, they could provide potentially significant efficiency gains. Higher thermal efficiency translates into lower fuel requirements and lower water flow.