China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) recently announced that the No. 6 generation unit of the Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station in Guangdong Province has opened to commercial use after a 168-hour period of full capacity operation.
Six third-generation one million-kW power units of the station, totally made by China, were earlier brought on line, making the station the world's largest light water pressurized water reactor (light water PWR).
As China's first steelmaker approved to fabricate nuclear-grade components, Angang Steel (Ansteel) produces key materials for the domestic nuclear power industry and is the exclusive steel supplier of the No. 6 power unit stabilizer.
The 16MND5 steel used in the nuclear power industry needs a demanding process to ensure its quality and is controlled to the strictest level of European standards, making it difficult to produce.
Ansteel's research and development group started to develop 16MND5 steel in 2011 to promote localization of materials and shorten the construction periods of power units.
It took the company three years to successfully develop the product after numerous experiments and extensive data analysis of the steel's quality and function, during which several problems like deformation of large-size rolling steel ingots and discrepancy in steel plates with through-thickness characteristic were conquered.
Since then, China is able to produce such steel domestically and Ansteel has become the only domestic possessor of the technology necessary to supply 16MND5 steel.
Since 2010 Ansteel has invented many other products for key devices of nuclear and conventional islands as well as containment components for the Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station.
To date, the company has developed more than 40 kinds of nuclear-grade steel and produced more than 70,000 tons of it; some products have been exported under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Ansteel has also cooperated with many domestic nuclear-power equipment manufacturers, entrepreneurs and designing institutes in developing technologies such as Hualong One, AP1000, CAP1400, CPR1000 and EPR.
These nuclear-power technologies have been widely applied in more than 20 power units with million-kilowatt capacity at home and abroad.
According to the company, the Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station is able to generate 48 billion kWh of electricity annually when all six units are operating and will play a significant role in energy restructuring and upgrading in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
By June 30, the Jiangyang power plant had provided electricity of more than 120 billion kWh, the equivalent of afforestation of 270,000 hectares, cutting coal consumption by 36.8 million tons and carbon-dioxide emission by 100.92 million tons.
(Executive editor: Zhang Tianyuan)