The industrialization of the hottest small reactor

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The industrialization of small reactors faces multiple constraints, and the cost reduction standard is the key.

the potential economic benefits of small reactors come from the later large-scale application. At present, the innovative way of low-temperature heating reactor is to scientifically plan industrial projects that need steam or heat outside its restricted area to ensure efficient utilization throughout the year

recently, we learned at the "China Nuclear Energy Sustainable Development Forum" hosted by the China nuclear energy industry association that under the background of the rapid development of comprehensive utilization of nuclear energy at home and abroad, small reactors have become the "blue ocean" of nuclear energy development in various countries at this stage. However, the development of small reactors is also facing problems such as economy, safety supervision, lack of standards and "avoidance effect"

At the beginning of this century, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued an initiative to encourage the research and development of small reactors for aerospace aluminum materials and advanced chemical materials with development advantages in our province. IAEA statistics show that there are nearly 50 kinds of small reactor conceptual designs in the world, of which small pressurized water reactors are the most mature. International research institutions predict that the global small reactor market space will be more than 500 billion US dollars in 2035

"small reactors can meet a variety of energy needs, including small and medium-sized electricity, such as power supply in remote mountainous areas, islands and industrial parks, as well as urban district heating, industrial steam supply and hydrogen production. At the same time, small reactors also have 'potential' in the fields of seawater desalination, offshore oil platforms and nuclear power ship power supply." Zhao Chengkun, executive deputy director of the expert committee of the China Nuclear Energy Industry Association, said

Zhao Weiming, deputy director of the Ministry of science, technology and innovation of the State Power Investment Corporation, also told: "small reactors have small power and small source terms, which can ensure the radioactive isolation of users, and the design limit is higher than the operating value, meeting the requirements of the National Nuclear Safety Administration for 'zero reactor fusion, zero emission and easy decommissioning'."

with the global slowdown in the construction of large nuclear power plants, the accelerated pace of energy transformation, and the rise of distributed energy, China has also incorporated small reactors into its development plan. The 13th five year plan for energy development and other documents clearly focused on the development of small-scale reactor and low-temperature heating reactor demonstration projects. In terms of district heating, many provinces in China have cooperated with nuclear power enterprises to develop small reactor projects. At present, the mainstream technical solutions include: yanlongchi type heating reactor and "Linglong No. 1" modular small reactor of China Nuclear Power Group, Hemei No. 1 and happy micro pressure heating reactor developed by China Power Investment Corporation, and nhr200-ii shell type heating reactor jointly developed by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation and Tsinghua University

economic challenges

the development prospect of small reactors facing the "blue ocean" seems broad, but the risks and opportunities faced by enterprises are not very clear, and the nuclear power industry still has doubts about the commercialization of its power generation and heating

we learned in the interview that economy is the biggest weakness of small reactors at present. A study by the British government shows that by 2031, the power cost of small reactors will be nearly 1/3 higher than that of traditional large reactors

in this regard, Zhao Chengkun told: "small-scale reactors have not been developed in a large scale, lack of economic effects, and large amounts of research and development costs have been invested in the early stage. In particular, low-temperature heating reactors will face operational difficulties in non heating seasons. In addition, investment in safety assurance, maintenance, etc. also leads to high costs of small-scale reactors."

in addition, small reactors also have obstacles in standard setting. It is understood that China's large-scale commercial nuclear power has complete industrial and safety standards in line with international standards, but the technical route of small reactors is different from that of large piles. The existing nuclear power plant standards are not applicable to small reactors, and there is no mature and available independent regulations for small reactors themselves

according to the existing laws and regulations in China, with the reactor as the center, the radius of the planned restricted area designated by the nuclear power plant by pressing the "start" button on the touch screen shall not be less than 5 kilometers. In this regard, Zhao Chengkun said: "if the radius of the planned restricted area of small-scale reactors is also set at 5 kilometers, the land price alone can't bear it, and it is easy to cause the contradiction between land use and local economic development. In addition, the safety requirements of small-scale reactors are more stringent than those of large-scale reactors, and technically, it is necessary to eliminate off-site emergency intervention. Theoretically, the radius of the planned restricted area of small-scale heating reactors with about 100000 kW at present should not be less than 1 km."

for small heating reactors that need to be close to the urban load center, can the public accept if the restricted area of Beijing Institute of aeronautical materials is reduced

in 2015, a survey conducted by the Institute of nuclear safety technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences showed that 60% of the audience said that they had not been informed of the safety of nuclear power, and those who supported the development of nuclear power among the interviewees did not want the nuclear power plant to be built at their own doorstep. "Avoidance effect" is still the threshold of nuclear energy development

cost reduction and standard setting are the key

where to go for small piles facing multiple constraints

some experts said that small modular reactors play an important role in distributed electricity and intelligent micro. Rong Jian, deputy director of China Nuclear Power Development Center, believes that at present, the research and development of small reactors has not gone out of the limitation of "large pile miniaturization", and the research and development of advanced nuclear energy technology systems should be carefully planned and deployed in advance. "Small reactor devices with inherent safety, high intelligence, extreme simplification, factory prefabrication, module configuration and other characteristics may be used as distributed energy to realize modular application. Domestic enterprises should concentrate resources, highlight key points, and carry out research and development demonstration work at different levels."

some industry experts believe that at this stage, small reactors should focus on industrial steam supply and seawater desalination. In terms of some special needs, such as supplying power to the intuitive and friendly island with human-machine interface at sea, diesel generators and other fields with high electricity prices, xiaodui is competitive

Zhao Chengkun believes that the "root cause" strategy is to improve the competitiveness of small piles. "The potential economic benefits of small reactors come from the large-scale application in the later stage. The current innovative way of low-temperature heating reactors is to scientifically plan industrial projects that need steam or heat outside their restricted areas to ensure efficient utilization throughout the year."

Zhao Weiming believes that accelerating the formulation of targeted norms, standards, approval and supervision procedures is also an urgent task for the development of small reactors. "Simplify links. If it is not necessary to include projects in the national plan, reduce the requirements for alternative plant sites; simplify the approval process and operation requirements, and reduce operators on the premise of ensuring safety."

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