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China installs core module of world's first commercial small nuclear reactor

A significant milestone in the installation of the world's first commercial small modular reactor (SMR), China's Linglong One, was successfully installed  on 10 August 2023, in the Hainan Province of South China.

According to Deng Xiaoliang, deputy general manager of Hainan Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. under the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), "This would pave a solid foundation for the installation and testing of the following auxiliary system."

The "heart of Linglong One" is a core module that consists of a pressure vessel, a steam generator, a primary pump receiver, and other vital pieces of machinery that are closely interconnected.

Before lifting, the steam generator's connection to the reactor pressure vessel had been welded, merging the "lung" and "heart" of the nuclear power plant.

The placement of the module was chosen for favorable weather because it is a precision piece of machinery that requires exact control of gravitational acceleration.

According to Zhao Long, the institution's deputy head of the project engineering department, "Inclement weather conditions, such as strong winds and heavy rain, pose challenges to the safety of the equipment"

"In order to ensure a safe and successful installation in one go, we require the weather to be ideal," he continued.

Small size, adaptable deployment, and environmental contributor

The most notable aspect of Linglong One is its modular structure, which permits a quick manufacturing cycle at low cost but enhanced security.

The SMR specializes in tiny size with a simpler design, making it simple to transport and use. According to the needs of the client, it can also be flexible in its customization and deployment, which has a substantial positive impact on the economy.

Linglong One, the first land-based small modular pressurized water reactor in the world created by China National Nuclear Corporation, has a power generation capacity of 125 megawatts and can produce 1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to power 526,000 homes. This is the same as planting 7.5 million trees or reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 880,000 tonnes.

It can be used in a variety of situations, including oil extraction, district heating in cities, industrial steam supply, and seawater desalination.

The reactor will not only help Hainan become a "clean energy island" and help the nation achieve its twin carbon peak and neutrality goals, but it will also advance nuclear energy on a worldwide scale.

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