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Facility scheduled to begin generating power for grid in 2021 The first of two reactors at the Shidaowan HTR-PM nuclear plant has achieved first criticality. Courtesy China Huaneng. The first of the two high-temperature gas-cooled reactors at the Shidao Bay demonstration HTR-PM plant in Shandong province, eastern China, attained reached first criticality on Monday, China National Nuclear Corporation said.

The No.1 reactor at the plant, also known as at Shidaowan, achieved first criticality at 09.35 local time on 12 September, CNNC announced. It said the milestone was reached 23 days after the start of fuel loading.

Operators will now perform zero-power physical tests to verify the core and control rod performance and the functionality of monitoring equipment.

The unit is scheduled to be connected to the electricity grid before the end of this year and to begin generating electricity for the grid in 2021.

The gas-cooled HTR-PM is a Generation-IV reactor design with twin reactor modules of 100 MW each driving a single 200-MW steam turbine.

Date: Wednesday, 15 September 2021
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The High-Temperature Test Reactor (HTTR) to the north of Tokyo in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture, is a small prototype HTGR. Courtesy JAEA. A UK nuclear technology company says it has has teamed up with the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency to develop plans for advanced nuclear technology that could be operational in Britain by 2029 with 20 units following every year from early 2030s.

Candida Whitmill, managing director Newcastle-based Penultimate Power said the Generation IV high temperature gas-cooled reactor (EH HGTR) it is developing with the JAEA is aimed at industrial clusters. Penultimate Power claims the first unit will cost in the region of £100m, with reductions for future units.

The UK recently opened up its nuclear generic design assessment to advanced nuclear technologies. Penultimate Power is aiming to be the first to register with the new licencing regime with the EH HTGR.

Penultimate Power says it is a privately funded company working with the UK supply chain and public nuclear organisations to deliver affordable carbon-free heat and power. In 2016, Ms Whitmill told a local newspaper that Penultimate Power has the expertise in its advisory board to work effectively with an overseas partner in navigating the rigorous UK licensing regime.

Date: Friday, 28 May 2021
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The Polish Centre for Nuclear Research signed the contract with the ministry of education. The Polish Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) has signed a contract with the ministry of education paving the way for a three-year programme to help the development of high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) technology in the country.

Under the agreement, NCBJ will receive about €13.3m from the government over three years for the development of a basic design of an HTGR device, with “an initial level of detail.”

According to NCBJ’s director Krzysztof Kurek, laboratory facilities will need to be built at the facility, primarily for the testing of materials to be used in an HTGR.

“Materials for this type of devices must work under extreme conditions, like high temperatures, high pressures, and exposure to neutron radiation,” he said.

“As part of the contract, we will also perform the necessary technical analyses, simulations and safety analyses required prior to applying for a license to build a nuclear facility.”

Date: Saturday, 15 May 2021
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Beijing has been developing HTGR technology since the 1970s The Shidao Bay nuclear stationin eastern China. Photo courtesy CNNC. The reactor pressure vessel, steam generator and hot gas duct of the second reactor at the Shidao Bay-1 high-temperature gas-cooled reactor-pebble bed module (HTR-PM) demonstration plant under construction in China have been successfully paired and connected, China National Nuclear Corporation said.

The connection for the first of the twin modules was finished on 28 April 2020. The same work had already been finished on 18 March for the second module.

Work on the demonstration HTGR at Shidao Bay in Shandong province, eastern China, began in December 2012.

China has been developing HTGR technology since the 1970s. The Shidaowan HTR-PM had been expected to start generation in 2019, which would have made it the first Generation IV reactor to enter operation.

Date: Wednesday, 06 May 2020
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