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World's 1st 4th-generation nuclear power plant goes into commercial operation in China

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-12-06 15:16

BEIJING -- The world's first fourth-generation nuclear power plant, China's Shidaowan high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) nuclear power plant, has officially gone into commercial operation, according to the National Energy Administration and China Huaneng Group Wednesday.

The project, located in Shandong province and with China owning fully independent intellectual property rights, is jointly developed by China Huaneng Group, Tsinghua University and China National Nuclear Corporation.

HTGR is an advanced type of reactor that features fourth-generation nuclear power technology, and a key development direction of nuclear power, said Zhang Zuoyi, chief designer of the major program of HTGR nuclear power station and dean of the nuclear energy and new energy technology institute of Tsinghua University.

With "safety" as a key characteristic, the reactor can maintain a safe state and steer away from a meltdown or leak of radioactive materials. This capability is maintained even in the event of a complete loss of cooling capacity, without any intervention actions, Zhang added.

More than 500 companies majoring in design and development, engineering construction, equipment manufacturing, production and operation participated in the project. The localization rate of the equipment of the nuclear power plant reached more than 90 percent, said Zhang Yanxu, a person in charge of the project.

The commercial operation of the nuclear power plant is of great significance in promoting the safety, as well as the scientific, technological and innovation capabilities of China's nuclear power development, he noted.

Construction of Shidaowan HTGR nuclear power plant started in December 2012, and generated power for the first time in December 2021.

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