China is planning to build meltdown-proof nuclear plants conforming to the fourth-generation technology in the wake of the Japanese nuclear crisis which highlighted the safety inadequacy of a reactor that depends on external sources of cooling.
The reactor in the works will be “world’s first high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor,” an official of the Huaneng Nuclear Power Development Co. told Bloomberg in an interview on Tuesday.
The plant will be installed at Rongcheng in Shandong province, and construction will start next month.
The Japanese nuclear crisis was triggered by an off-site power failure that compromised the cooling systems at reactors. The new Chinese reactor will not depend on external sources for cooling, but will instead use helium, an inert gas, in its cooling system, the report says.
The reactor will be built in such a way as to withstand temperatures exceeding 1,600 degrees Celsius (2,912 degrees Fahrenheit) for several hundred hours without melting down, the report said, quoting China Business News.
China had suspended on March 16 approval for new atomic projects in the wake of the Japanese crisis. The proposed fourth-generation reactor was designed and constructed by Tsinghua University of China, the report says.