The pressure vessel for the Chinese-designed Hualong One reactor under construction as unit 3 of Pakistan's Karachi nuclear power plant has been hoisted into place.

The vessel is hoisted into place in Karachi 3's reactor building (Image: CNNC)

The component was put into place within the unit's reactor building at 8:19am yesterday, China National Nuclear Corporation announced today. It said the milestone marked the unit's entry into the "full installation phase of key components".

The pressure vessel was independently designed by China Nuclear Power Research & Design Institute and was produced by China First Heavy Machinery Company Limited.

The installation of the pressure vessel followed that of the unit's three steam generators. CNNC noted that all four components had been installed within just 19 days, providing "a useful reference for the construction of other similar power stations".

The vessel and steam generators were all installed using CNNC's new method using an E-frame to "flip" the components. It said this method can improve efficiency and safety, as well as reducing labour intensity and reducing the chance of human error, compared with the traditional "fixed bracket" installation. The technique further improves the safety and economy of the "pre-introduction" construction method - where the main reactor equipment is installed before the dome of the containment building - which CNNC first used in a reactor of this type at Karachi 2.

Karachi 2 and 3 are the first export of China's Hualong One pressurised water reactor design, with construction of unit 2 beginning in 2015 and unit 3 in 2016. The units are scheduled for commercial operation in 2021 and 2022, respectively, when they will add a further 2322 MWe to Pakistan's existing nuclear generation capacity of 1355 MWe from five operating units: a small pressurised heavy water reactor at Karachi, and four Chinese-designed pressurised water reactors at Chashma. A third 1161 MWe Hualong One unit is planned for construction at Chashma.

Four Hualong One units - also known as HPR1000 - are under construction in China. Fanchenggang 3 and 4 and Fuqing 5 and 6 are all expected to enter commercial operation in 2019-2020.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Thursday, 06 September 2018
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