China Releases Low-Temperature Nuclear Heating Reactor

China National Nuclear Corporation launched its independently researched and developed Yanlong pool-like low temperature heating reactor, which can be used for regional heating, on November 28.

The advent of the heating season has increased demand for heating, but coal-fired heating leads to aggravated smog in the Northern China. China is urgently seeking a clean energy replacement for coal-fired heating. As a safe and clean energy, nuclear energy has gradually attracted its attention.

After years of research and development, China National Nuclear Corporation officially launched its own research and development in Beijing to realize the Yanlong pool-type low-temperature heating reactor. According to the calculation, a 400 megawatt Yanlong low-temperature heating reactor could heat as much as 20 million square meters, the equivalent of 200,000 three-bedroom homes.

On November 28, the Yanlong pool-type low-temperature heating reactor went through the stages of demonstration and verification, demonstration project and business promotion. In the first step, China National Nuclear Corporation started its demonstration at the China Institute of Atomic Energy. The pool-type low-temperature heating reactor (49-2 heap) heated buildings in the institute for 168 hours. This proved the feasibility of the pool-type low-temperature heating reactor and marked important progress for the China National Nuclear Corporation in the field of nuclear heating technology. It provided strong technical support for the follow-up of pool type low temperature heating reactor model development. China National Nuclear Corporation also established a research center for nuclear energy heating technology.

With the success of the Yanlong model and the 49-2 reactor heat supply demonstration, China National Nuclear Corporation will further accelerate its implementation of the demonstration project.

China National Nuclear Corporation designated the models of the pool type low-temperature heating reactor as “Yanlong” and “DHR-400” respectively. The heating reactor was developed in Yan, so its name included a “Yan.” The Dragon Series of reactors was researched and developed by China National Nuclear Corporation. Since the Chinese word for dragon is “long,” the reactor was named Yanlong. DHR-400 means district heating reactors, and “400” refers to the thermal power of the reactor, which is 400 megawatts.

Yanlong was developed as a pool type research reactor, a model tested to operate safely and stably for more than 50 years. It is targeted to satisfy the demands for heating in Northern Chinese cities in the winter, and it is safe, economic, green and environmentally friendly. The reactor core is placed in the depths of a normal pressure pool, and the water temperature of the core is heated with the static pressure of the water layer to meet heating requirements. Heat is transferred through a two-stage exchange to heating circuit, which can then be transferred to thousands of homes on a heat network.

As a mature and secure technology, Yanlong has no fusion and no discharge. It is easy to suspend and requires less investment than other designs. For its multi-channel security barriers, the reactor is equipped with a high pressure isolation circuit, which ensures that radiation is isolated from the heat supply network. The pool type low temperature heating reactor is flexible in site selection, available in both inland and coastal areas and it suits northern China. The service life of a pool-type low-temperature heating reactor is 60 years. It costs less than gas power, and it is economically comparable to burning coal or tapping thermal power. The site can be reused when the reactor is completely decommissioned.

This article originally appeared in thepaper and was translated by Pandaily.