China begins construction of world’s 1st commercial small modular reactor
- The multipurpose small modular reactor ‘LingLong One’ was the first-of-its-kind to receive a nod from the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2016.
China has officially begun the construction of the world’s first commercial modular small reactor ‘Linglong One’ at the Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant in the country’s Hainan Province, the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said on Tuesday.
According to a Reuters report, the CNNC had initially planned to begin the construction of the first phase of Linglong One project in 2017, but faced regulatory hurdles.
The multipurpose small modular reactor (SMR) Linglong One – also called the ACP100 — was the first such SMR which was given green signal by the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2016. The ACP100 comes with a generation capacity of 125,000 kilowatt hours, and once completed, it can climb up to 1 billion kilowatt hours, thereby catering to more than 500,000 households in China, Global Times reported.
The update on LingLong One comes as an icing atop a cake following the CNNC’s larger third-generation ‘Hualong One’ reactors that have a generation capacity of 1,170 megawatts. Notably, China is planning to rapidly roll out these reactors at home as well as abroad, Reuters reported.
What sets small reactor technology apart?
To start with, SMRs are cost-friendly and faster to construct as opposed to the traditional reactors. It can even be deployed at remote areas, for instance, on aircrafts and ships. Equipped with the ‘modular’ feature, as the Reuters report suggests, SMRs can easily be shipped by container from the factory and are relatively faster to be installed on any suggested spot.
Furthermore, according to the Global Times report, SMRs come with the characteristics of high safety, and miniaturisation. Besides, application of SMRs can significantly cut down the consumption of fossil fuel energy in China and instead promote energy conservation and carbon emission reduction, the CNNC stated, as per the Reuters report.
Small reactors have lately become a tool for China to provide urban heating in the north and also operate desalination facilities along the country’s coastal line, the Reuters report added.