China's planned 'nuclear island' is taking shape with the installation of its first reactor

According to Chinese media reports, construction has begun on a man-made island in Hainan Province.
Christopher McFadden
World's first commercial Linglong One onshore small reactor starts construction
World's first commercial Linglong One onshore small reactor starts construction.

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC)/World Energy  

The construction of Linglong One, a multi-purpose pressurized water reactor with several uses, has started in the Hainan Province in south China, according to a Sunday report by China Central Television (CCTV), reports the Global Times.

The China National Nuclear Corporation is building Linglong One based on China's independent research and intellectual property rights.

Because it was made to meet the different energy needs of the area, the International Atomic Energy Agency said it was the first reactor of its kind in the world. Once completed, according to World Nuclear News, the Changjiang ACP100 reactor will produce one billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to meet the needs of 526,000 households. The reactor is designed for electricity, heating, steam, or seawater desalination.

According to the CCTV report, the "nuclear island" at the center of the nuclear power plant is Linglong One. Research shows that more important infrastructure will be built in the future, such as the pressure vessel and steam generator at the power plant.

It is anticipated to be constructed in 58 months

The Linlong One project, which started development in July 2021, is praised for its high level of security, rapid construction, and adaptable deployment, among other benefits. Only as soon as April this year, the steel reactor pit was installed for the ACP100 multi-purpose small modular reactor (SMR) demonstration project at the Changjiang nuclear power plant on China's island province of Hainan. The construction is anticipated to be finished in 58 months.

The project is also a joint venture between three major companies: China National Nuclear Power, a subsidiary of CNNC, which is the owner and operator; the Nuclear Power Institute of China, which is in charge of designing the reactor; and China Nuclear Power Engineering Group, which is in charge of building the plant.

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Shanghai Boiler Works Limited is providing the reactor vessel, a CNNC subsidiary is providing the steam generators, and Dongfang Electric Corporation is providing other reactor internals for the demonstration plant.

The reactor could provide distributed energy and other needs like industrial heating, regional heating, seawater desalination, etc. One billion kilowatt-hours of electricity may be produced by each Linglong One set, which has a power capacity of 125,000 kilowatts.

The Linglong One illustrates China's increased investment in energy projects, not only because the nation is stepping up efforts to ensure energy supply in the event of a power outage but also because China is actively promoting the switch to low-carbon and environmentally friendly energy sources.

According to data from the National Energy Administration, China increased its investment in energy projects by 16.7 percent annually in the first eight months of this year.

The Linglong One might serve as a demonstration project, according to Lin Boqiang, head of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University. He did, however, note that one drawback of the compact reactor is that due to its capacity, commercialization is difficult.