The reactor dome of unit 3 at the Fuqing nuclear power plant in Fujian Province was successfully lowered into place on top of the containment building at 5.48am on 9 October. Plant constructor China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation (CNECC) said that the operation to install the reactor dome - with a diameter of 37 metres, a height of 11 metres and weighing 160 tonnes - took just 30 minutes.
Fuqing is to be a six-reactor plant, based on Chinese-designed CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors. The overall 6000 MWe project is expected to cost 100 billion yuan ($15.9 billion). Construction of Fuqing units 1 and 2 started in November 2008 and June 2009, respectively. Those units are scheduled to begin operating in October 2013 and August 2014.
Two weeks earlier, the reactor dome was also installed at unit 2 of the Changjiang plant in China's southern island province of Hainan.
The installation of the reactor building dome marks the end of the major civil engineering works on the reactor buildings. Changjiang 2 and Fuqing 3 are the fifth and sixth Chinese units, respectively, to have had their reactor domes installed since the start of 2012. The others include Taishan 2, Yangjiang 3, Ningde 4 and Fangchenggang 1.
Construction projects already underway should see China bring online some 27 new reactors by the end of 2015 - in addition to the 15 units currently in operation.
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