The world’s first AP1000® nuclear power plant moved a step closer to commissioning with the completion of the cold hydrostatic test (CHT) at Sanmen Unit 1 in Zhejiang Province, China.
The successful completion of CHT confirms that the reactor systems meet design pressures under operating and accident conditions and signifies the completion of the plant’s design and construction programs.
“This test confirms that critical components within the reactor coolant system work as designed,” said Jeff Benjamin, Westinghouse senior vice president, New Plants and Major Projects. “The commissioning and testing team performed the cold hydrostatic test in a safe and event free manner which was an important factor in the test. The successful completion of cold hydrostatic test is a key step in the commissioning for the AP1000 plant and puts us in a great position to load fuel – a significant milestone we expect to complete at Sanmen 1 by year end.”
Initiated on May 25, the test was completed within four hours with the unit’s reactor systems successfully maintaining a test pressure of 3,107 psig (pounds per square inch gauge) for 10 minutes without leakage. Inspection of the more than 1,800 required welds in the reactor coolant system test boundary found no leaks at that pressure. The CHT leads the way to the next two critical commissioning milestones, hot functional test and initial fuel load. The hot functional test, which tests all plant systems prior to loading fuel in the reactor, will begin in the next several weeks. Once complete, it will be followed by initial fuel load.
The company next will be gearing up for CHT at Haiyang Unit 1 in Shandong Province in the coming weeks. The lessons learned and best practices from each CHT will be applied to the successive tests conducted at other AP1000 plant construction projects including Sanmen Unit 2 and Haiyang Unit 2, as well as the four units under construction in the United States, two at the Vogtle plant in Waynesboro, Ga., and two at the V.C. Summer plant in Jenkinsville, S.C.
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