China today successfully installed the heavy containment dome for its first domestically developed third-generation reactor design which may also be used at the Karachi nuclear plant where Beijing is building two 1100 mw reactors. The hemispherical dome, weighing 340 tonnes and measuring 46.8 metres in diametre, was installed by crane on the No 5 unit of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) in Fuqing City, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The installation marks the completion of construction work on the pilot project and the beginning of the assembly stage, said Yu Peigen, deputy general manager of CNNC at the site of installation.
The dome will be used for protection against nuclear accidents under extreme conditions, and both its design and installation are very demanding processes, the report said. The design may be replicated in Karachi plant in Pakistan where China is building two 1100 mw reactors at a cost of USD 6.5 billion. “The installation is much more difficult than that of traditional nuclear reactors because the whole weight of the dome and the ropes is more than 500 tonnes,” said Yang Jianguo, the lifting commander at the site.
Construction of the pilot project began in May 2015 and was scheduled to take about 62 months to finish. The successful installation of the dome will contribute to the development of China’s domestic third-generation reactor design and enhance the confidence in Hualong One among Belt and Road countries to boost cooperation, Wang Shoujun, chairman of CNNC said. The country has actively promoted Hualong One at home and abroad. There are now four projects using Hualong One design under construction, including two reactors in Karachi, the report said.