China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) has been approved by the National Energy Administration (NEA) to push forward the construction of China’s first nuclear-powered heating project, the NEA announced at a recent symposium on the heating supply in North China.
The nuclear company will join hands with Tsinghua University on the small demonstration project, using the low-temperature NHR200-II reactor technology. During the initial stage, the two sides will work on site selection, emergency plans and public communication.
According to CGN’s Senior Vice President Shu Guogang, the NHR200-II technology is a mature design and passed a safety review by the National Nuclear Safety Administration in the1990s and ranked first in NEA’s review of small-scale nuclear reactor technology in 2016.
Nuclear-powered heating has been applied in multiple western countries while China has also done a lot of research to prove its safety and feasibility.
The low temperature NHR200-II reactor is highlighted with high safety, large market potential and wide applications in electricity, heat, water and gas, including heat supply for residential districts and industrial parks, and energy supply to remote areas.
It also features flexibility in location, so it can be built near the end users. Moreover, its construction requires only two to three years, if done on a mass production basis.
As cities in North China occasionally suffer from smog during the heating season, the use of nuclear reactors will offer them a better choice.
Government authorities have made clean-energy heating a priority. In 2017, they issued guidance on clean heating in winter in North China. The NEA also released a five-year plan (2017-2021) stressing the innovation of clean heating technology and exploration of nuclear heating.
“As China’s first trial use of nuclear power to generate over 100 MW of heating energy, the project will serve as a model for clean-energy heating and is considered an ideal replacement for coal-burning. It will help reduce coal consumption, curbing pollution and promoting cleaner heating in North China,” said He Yu, chairman of CGN.
“To keep up with the central government’s call for green development and building a Beautiful China at the 19th National Congress of the CPC, CGN will step up construction on the demonstration project and contribute to the ecological environment,” He pledged.