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China's nuclear-powered industrial steam supply begins operation

Zheng Yibing


China's first nuclear-powered industrial steam supply project began operation on Wednesday at the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant in the city of Lianyungang, eastern China's Jiangsu Province, said China Atomic Energy Authority.

The project is named as "Heqi-1," with its heat source being the steam generated from the turbine system of two power units.

Heqi-1 will use this steam to produce industrial steam via a multi-layered isolation system for safety.

The industrial steam will then be transported through pipelines to the petrochemical industrial base via a multi-stage heat transfer system.

The nuclear-heated steam is expected to cut coal consumption for petrochemical plants where high temperature and pressure are vital for chemical reactions.

"This is the very first application of such scale in the world," said Zhang Yi, chairman of Jiangsu Nuclear Power Co., Ltd.

"Unlike those small-scale attempts before, the Heqi-1 can produce 600 tonnes of industrial steam in just one hour. For this, we overcame many technical difficulties and made breakthroughs to ensure the quality of the industrial steam, like in the heat transfer and the long distance," he said.

The targeted industrial park for the project is some 23 kilometers away from the power plant.

"We researched on long-distance transportation and adopted a new way of thermal insulation," said Wan Falin, general manager of Jiangsu Fangyang Energy Technology Co., Ltd.

"The nuclear-powered industrial steam fills the demand gap in the industrial park. It is stable, and also achieves the goals of carbon reduction," Wan noted.

The project is expected to deliver 4.8 million tonnes of zero-carbon steam annually from the power plant to the petrochemical base of Lianyungang.

China National Nuclear Corporation says this project will reduce the equivalence of combustion of 400,000 tonnes of standard coal each year – cutting carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1 million tonnes, sulfur dioxide by 184 tonnes, and nitrogen oxides by 263 tonnes.

Developed in collaboration with various partners, Heqi-1 is expected to serve as a model of clean industrial steam supply for the petrochemical industry and inject new impetus into high-quality development in China.

(Cover: Steam supply pipes. /Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant)

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