SHANGHAI: China has finished building the outer safety dome at its first overseas “Hualong One” nuclear reactor in Pakistan, with the project scheduled to be finished by the end of 2020, the China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) said late Tuesday.
China is hoping to use its third-generation Hualong One design to boost its presence in the overseas nuclear power sector and it is already making plans to build projects in Argentina and Britain, international media reported.
The steel dome - measuring about 53 metres in diameter and over 23m in height, and weighing about 366 tonnes - was placed upon the top of the containment building walls at 8:06am yesterday, China National Nuclear Power (CNNP) has announced.
The Hualong One uses a double-layer safety shell design. Together with the inner protective dome, the outer dome protects the reactor and prevents the release of radioactive materials into the environment in the event of a serious accident.
“The successful hoisting of the outer safety dome has marked the end of the main structural project of the nuclear power plant, which has created favourable conditions for the overall test and thermal test of the subsequent containment,” CNNP said.
China developed the Hualong One reactor as a rival to the Westinghouse-developed AP1000 and Europe’s “Evolutionary Pressurised Reactor”, with both models beset by cost overruns and construction delays.
The world’s first Hualong One reactor is set to go into operation ahead of schedule in the southeast Chinese province of Fujian late next year.
CNNC said its four demonstration projects in China and Pakistan are progressing in an orderly manner, noting that they “are the only third-generation pressurized water reactor projects in the world that are being constructed on schedule.”