China Plans to Open 1st ‘meltdown-free’ Nuclear Power Plant by 2017

Authored or posted by | Updated on | Published on February 13, 2016
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Picture of China Nuclear Power Plant(RT.com) China says it is planning to bring a safe nuclear power plant that will not suffer from meltdowns online in November 2017. It would be the world’s first high-temperature, gas-cooled pebble-bed nuclear plant built on an industrial scale.

China’s Nuclear Engineering Construction Corporation wants to introduce a high temperature, pebble-bed, gas-cooled nuclear reactor, in the Shandong Province, south of the capital, Beijing. The company is planning to bring twin 105-megawatt reactors online that would be immune to meltdown. It is hoped that the power station will start working by November 2017.

The Chinese are using a design developed in Germany, though the nuclear reactor which is being built in Shandong will be the first commercial-scale atomic power plant of its kind to be constructed.

“This technology is going to be on the world market within the next five years,” said Zhang Zuoyi, director of the Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Technology Review reported. “We are developing these reactors to belong to the world.”

The possibility of a meltdown is one of greatest fears of nuclear power, as was witnessed by the fallout following the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters. Even though the Shandong reactor will operate at very high temperatures, its designers say that it will not suffer from any potential meltdowns.

This is because high temperature reactors do not need external cooling systems, such as the sort that failed at Fukushima. It uses helium gas as the heat transfer medium and runs at temperatures up to 950 °C.

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