China’s HTR-PM heating project begins operation

The nuclear heating project based on China’s demonstration High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor-Pebble-bed Module (HTR-PM) at the Shidaowan site in Shandong province has been connected to the heating grid and put into operation, according to China Huaneng.

The HTR-PM features two 250 MWt reactors that drive a single 210 MWe steam turbine. It uses helium as coolant and graphite moderator. Each reactor is loaded with more than 245,000 spherical fuel elements, each 60mm in diameter and containing 7g of fuel enriched to 8.5%. The fuel has high inherent safety characteristics, and has been shown to remain intact and to continue to contain radioactivity at temperatures up to 1620°C.

The project uses high-temperature steam from the HTR-PM to heat water in a heat exchanger. The project will add an additional 190,000 square metres of heating area, which can meet the needs of 1850 households. It can replace 3,700 tonnes of coal every heating season and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6,700 tonnes. The plant was declared to be in commercial operation in December 2023.

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