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    Safe Atom: China’s Advanced Meltdown-Free Nuclear Plant Gets Core Component

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    Chinese enginners have installed the main component of a reactor in the Shandong Province nuclear power plant that is expected to become the world’s first meltdown-free nuclear energy system.

    A reactor pressure vessel was fitted into the 200-megawatt Huaneng Shidao Bay nuclear power plant on Sunday, Xinhua News reported.

    ​The 25 meter-high cylinder weighing some 610 tons is a central element of a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR), which is a part of a projected fourth-generation nuclear energy system. The HTGR, under the direction of engineers, will have the ability to safely shut down in emergency situations, preventing radioactive leaks.

    "The high-temperature gas-cooled reactor represents the latest technology. It will greatly raise China's capacity in nuclear power plants and boost export," He Yunsheng, a senior manager of Huaneng Shandong Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Company that is constructing the plant, told Xinhua.

    He added that about 91 percent of the technology used in the construction is Chinese. The high-temperature, gas-cooled pebble-bed nuclear plant is a first facility of its kind that is being built on an industrial scale.

    China is the world’s primary energy consumer, according to the World Fact Book. To fill the rapidly growing demand, the country is pushing to build more nuclear plants.

    A total of 30 nuclear power plants are operated in the country now and another 24 are currently under construction, Discovery News reported. By 2020, China aims to double the total capcity of its nuclear power units.

    Huaneng Shidao Bay is expected to go operational in 2017.

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    technology, pressure, vessel, nuclear power plant, Shandong province, China
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