The reactor pressure vessel for the fourth unit of the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China's Jiangsu province has been installed. The Russian-supplied VVER-1000 is scheduled to start up next year.
The pressure vessel was produced in Russia by OMZ subsidiary Izhorskiye Zavody under a contract awarded in 2010 for the manufacture of the vessels for both Tianwan units 3 and 4. The vessel was transported from St Petersburg on an ocean-going transport ship which delivered it to the port of Lianyungang in Jiangsu province. It was then unloaded and put onto a barge for the remainder of the journey to the Tianwan site. The component - weighing 323 tonnes and measuring over 11 meters in length and 4.5 meters in diameter - arrived at the Tianwan site on 24 February.
China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said in a statement today that pressure vessel hoisting work began on 10 March. Once manoeuvred horizontally through the hatch in the unit's containment building, the final operation was carried out yesterday to flip the vessel vertically and locate it on its support ring. CNNC said this took about three hours and 40 minutes, noting this was about one hour less for the comparable task for Tianwan 3 that was completed in May 2015.
Tianwan 4 is the second of two AES-91 VVER-1000 units designed by Gidropress, a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom. Two similar units have been in commercial operation at the Tianwan site since 2007. AtomStroyExport, another Rosatom subsidiary, is the main contractor, supplying the nuclear island. Construction work began on unit 3 in December 2012, with unit 4 following in September 2013. The units are expected to start operation in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The Tianwan plant is owned and operated by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation, a joint venture between CNNC (50%), China Power Investment Corporation (30%) and Jiangsu Guoxin Group (20%).