Double criticality for Chinese demonstration HTR-PM: New Nuclear
November 12, 2021
China Huaneng announced that the second reactor of the high-temperature gas-cooled reactor pebble bed module (HTR-PM) at the Shidaowan plant in the Chinese province of Shandong has reached criticality for the first time. The first twin reactor of the block reached the first criticality in September.
In the control room of the HTR-PM (Image: China Huaneng)
According to information from China Huaneng – the lead organization of the consortium for the construction of the demonstration plant – the second reactor reached the first criticality “in air atmosphere” on November 11th and will now undergo a test procedure similar to that of the first reactor.
Construction of the HTR-PM demonstration plant with two 250 MWt reactors driving a single 210 MWe turbine began in December 2012. China Huaneng is the leading organization in the consortium for the construction of the demonstration plant (with a share of 47, 5%). together with the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) subsidiary China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (CNEC – 32.5%) and the Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology (20%), the research and development leader of Tsinghua University. Chinergy, a joint venture between Tsinghua and CNEC, is the prime contractor for the nuclear island.
Construction of the 210 MWe Shidaowan HTR-PM demonstration plant began at the end of 2012. The successful operation of the plant should pave the way for commercial 600 MWe plants (6×250 MWt, a total of 655 MWe).
The first reactor of the HTR-PM, which reached first criticality on Sept. 12, has now completed zero power physical tests under a helium atmosphere, and work on the first power is currently underway, China Huaneng said.
Researched and written by World Nuclear News