Global First Generation IV Nuclear Power Plant Co-Constructed by Shanghai Electric Enters Commercial Operation

27 December 2023

The world's first nuclear power plant project equipped with Gen IV nuclear power technology Shidaowan High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Pebble-bed Module (HTR-PM) demonstration project, with Shanghai Electric being one of the main equipment suppliers – has entered commercial operation, following the successful completion of 168 hours of test run that confirmed all systems met the design functions. The milestone pushes China to the forefront of nuclear energy innovation as it continues to explore safe, reliable, and sustainable power sources to facilitate its carbon peak and neutrality target.

Generating power through the conversion of nuclear, heat, mechanical, and electricity power, the high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR), globally recognized as the fourth-generation nuclear power technology, is lauded for its inherent safety and versatility, holding immense potential for commercial applications as an alternative power solution to fossil fuel-based energy sources.

Initiated in 2006 and beginning construction in 2012, the Shidaowan HTR-PM demonstration project is one of the 16 major national scientific and technological projects, standing on par with China's lunar exploration program and the development of the BeiDou navigation satellite system.

Shanghai Electric, one of the key participants in the project, provided equipment including reactor pressure vessels, metallic core internals, control rod drive mechanisms, shutdown systems, turbines, primary helium fans, and helium compressors. The completion of the plant marks the conclusion of a decade-long endeavor led by China's leading energy solution providers to overcome challenges in an effort to develop self-innovated solutions on the cutting-edge of nuclear power technology. 93.4 percent of the equipment used in the reactor is manufactured by Chinese companies.

The reactor pressure vessels, tailor-designed by Shanghai Electric for the project, boast larger sizes and more complex structures compared to their market counterparts, breaking industry records for height and weight. The metallic core internals manufactured for the project are the world's largest thin-walled metallic core internals, a groundbreaking achievement that fills a gap in China's market. Leveraging its 20 years of expertise, the Company developed the world's first high-temperature, high-pressure, high-power, electromagnetic-bearing primary helium fan.

HTGR is set to reshape the future of global nuclear power development with its exceptional safety features. It ensures the reactor remain safe even in the case of the failure of all cooling systems, preventing core meltdown and radioactive material leakage without any intervention. In a significant stride for China's nuclear power safety and nuclear technology innovation, the successful launch of the demonstration project greatly propels China's ability to lead in the global nuclear energy sector, trailblazing future advancements in sustainable and secure energy generation.