In 1995, work on China’s first 10 MWe HTR, known as HTR-10, began at the site of the Institute of Nuclear Energy Technology (INET) at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The test reactor reached first criticality in 2000, achieved full operation in 2003, and continues to operate today. HTR-10 uses a similar technology to the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) that was originally developed in Germany and has also been developed in South Africa. The main features of this design are the use of spherical fuel elements containing enriched uranium fuel with TRISO coated particles.
In 2005, the first 210 MWe HTR-PM plant, based on the HTR-10 experience, was approved for construction at Shidaowan, near Rongcheng in Weihai city, Shandong province in China. In 2006, Huaneng Shandong Shidaowan Nuclear Power Company (HSSNPC) was formed as a result of joint investments by China Huaneng Group, China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Group, and Tsinghua Holdings Group as the technology provider. HSSNPC received environmental clearance in March 2008 for construction start of a demonstration HTR-PM station in September 2009 and commissioning by 2013. The domestic Chinese supply chain for the HTR-PM is nearly set (the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction contract was finalized in October 2008 with the involvement of Shanghai Electric Co. and Harbin Power Equipment Co.), and construction works for the Shidaowan plant started in December 2012 with commissioning scheduled before 2017. Additional 18 HTR-PM units are envisioned to be built at the same site. China is also looking to possibly export the HTR-PM to smaller, developing countries, once the domestic demonstration project is successful.
The main HTR-PM application is electricity production. Hydrogen production exploration is part of planned activities as soon as the HRT-PM tests aimed at demonstrating safe and reliable production of electricity are completed.
Main Companies Involved
Tsinghua University INET: http://www.tsinghua.edu.cn/publish/ineten/index.html
China Huaneng Group: http://www.chng.com.cn/eng/
China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Group: http://www.cnecc.com/g591.aspx
Shanghai Electric Co.: http://www.shanghai-electric.com/en/Pages/default.aspx
Harbin Power Equipment Co.: http://www.hpec.com/index/Default.aspx