The Hualong One, like other generation-III nuclear power reactors, excels over its predecessors.
“The safety of China’s nuclear power technology has become among the most advanced in the world, in terms of innovation of safety technology, and setting safety-standards,” said Xing Ji, chief designer of Hualong One.
It draws lessons from the generation-II reactor in the Fukushima nuclear accident, and adds passive safety systems.
It also uses double-layer containment, and can withstand the crash of large commercial jet-liner and magnitude-8 earthquake.
With 177 fuel assemblies in the reactor core, the power output can be increased by around ten percent.
Hualong One’s first demonstration reactor is being built in the southeast.
“The Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant is building a model site to showcase the Hualong One nuclear power technology. It opens a channel for Chinese nuclear power technologies to go global,” said Zheng Yibing, Fuqing, Fujian Province. Chinese nuclear power companies signed several large deals in 2015 to build plants abroad. The prospect for further cooperation is huge.
“Many ‘Belt and Road’ countries are in their economic development stage. They have huge demand for energy, especially nuclear power,” said Qian Zhimin, General Manager, China National Nuclear Corporation.
“And nuclear power is not only energy, but also represents the overall national strength. That’s why they want to develop atomic power.”
Unlike fossil-fuel power plants, nuclear facilities do not generate emissions. Radiation to people living nearby within a year is lower than taking just one flight.
Hualong One’s chief designer says waste from nuclear power plants is strictly controlled.
“The current technology has achieved this. And there will be better technology in the future,” Xing Ji said.
China’s nuclear power industry is evolving its technology. Research and production of the fourth generation is already underway.