State-owned China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) recently conducted a successful 168-hour trial run in Beijing for a small, dedicated “district heating reactor” (DHR) it has named the “Yanlong”. With the north facing natural gas shortages as cities switch away from coal, CNNC presented the “DHR-400” as an alternative heat supplier for the region, with each 400-megawatt unit capable of warming 200,000 urban households. The model – which consists of a reactor core immersed in a water-filled tank around the same volume as an Olympic swimming pool – will require 1.5 billion yuan (US$226.7 million) in investment and take just three years to build, a crucial advantage in a sector plagued by construction delays. As a small and relatively simple “swimming pool” design, the low-pressure reactor is expected to be safer than conventional models, with temperatures not exceeding 100 degrees Celsius, and it could be plugged directly into existing heating networks.
South China Morning Post 10th Dec 2017 read more »