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Chinese industrial nuclear steam project commissioned

20 June 2024

China’s first industrial-use nuclear energy steam supply project, at the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China’s Jiangsu province, has entered operation following commissioning tests. The project will supply steam to a nearby petrochemical plant.

(Image: CNNC)

The project – known as Heqi-1 – was jointly developed by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) subsidiary Jiangsu Nuclear Power Company and the Lianyungang Petrochemical Industry Base in the Xuwei New District of Lianyungang City.

In the project, steam will be extracted from the secondary circuits of units 3 and 4 of the Tianwan plant, two Russian-supplied VVER-1000 units. After passing through multi-stage heat exchange, the steam will be transported via an insulated above-ground pipeline to the Lianyungang Petrochemical Industrial Base for industrial production and utilisation.

The construction of the pile foundation for the project began in February 2022, with the pouring of first concrete for the industrial steam facility taking place in May 2022.

The Tianwan plant is equipped with four steam conversion devices. The industrial superheated steam transmitted out of the nuclear power plant has a pressure of 1.8 MPa and a rated flow rate of 600 tonnes per hour.

The industrial steam facility at Tianwan (Image: CNNC)

The total length of the long-distance steam supply main line of the Tianwan nuclear power steam energy supply project is about 23 kilometres. The pipeline network extends from the Tianwan nuclear power plant to the Xuwei Petrochemical Industrial Park.

The facility is expected to supply 4.8 million tonnes of steam annually, which will reduce the burning of standard coal by 400,000 tonnes per year, and the equivalent emission reduction of 1.07 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, 184 tonnes of sulphur dioxide and 263 tonnes of nitrogen oxides.

CNNC said the start of operation of the steam project “marks that China’s comprehensive utilisation of nuclear energy has expanded from single power generation and meeting urban residents’ heating needs to the field of industrial steam supply”. It added that the Heqi-1 project “is a model of clean steam supply for the national petrochemical industry”.

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