(Yicai Global) June 6 -- Guohe One, a third-generation nuclear power technology independently developed by China’s State Power Investment Corporation, has driven the rise of many supply chain firms during the course of its development and has brought about the localization of the entire industry supply chain.
An atomic power industry chain system needs complete raw material support and supply, and the construction of this industry chain system has driven the country's entire basic industrial system for materials and equipment, Zheng Mingguang, chief designer of Guohe One, told Yicai Global.
Core technology cannot be bought or sought, several companies in Guohe One’s supply chain said, adding that independent innovation must be relied upon.
Market competition promotes the healthy development of the whole industrial system, Zheng noted, adding that a supply chain set up in a competitive environment lops 20 percent off project costs.
During its research and development, between two and five rival companies took part in the technical development of all the equipment and materials used in the project, continually improving every step from design to manufacturing technology and the production process, Yicai Global learned.
The support plates used in nuclear plant steam generators used to be imported because of special materials and specifications, but during Guohe One’s development, Shanghai Electric Nuclear Power Group worked with China Baowu Steel Group to successfully develop a domestic version.
A 100 percent localization rate can be achieved this year for all parts of Guohe One, Lu Hongzao, SPIC's deputy general manager, was cited as saying by Shanghai Securities News in March.
Private Business Input
“After more than 20 years, China's private companies have made great progress in management, technical capabilities, and R&D investment," according to Zheng. In the supply of key materials and equipment components, private firms have strongly supported Guohe One's supply chain, he added.
The Guohe One core instrument and casing assembly products developed by Zhejiang Lunte Electromechanical, a private developer of temperature measuring instruments, and Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute have filled the domestic technology gap, entered mass production, and provided tools for monitoring the working parameters inside the nuclear reactor.
The alloy 690 U-tube is an important component in the steam generator of nuclear power plants, with demanding requirements for sealing accuracy, corrosion prevention, and radiation protection, and only three companies -- from France, Japan, and Sweden -- were able to produce it.
But under the guidance of SNERDI's design unit, Baoyin Special Steel Tube made the first Chinese atomic power alloy 690 U-tube after several years of development, costing only a third of the imported product.
Guohe One, led by SNERDI, has more than 700 cooperative units and over 31,000 scientific and technological staff members.
The installed power generation capacity of a single Guohe One reactor is 1,500 megawatts, generating 12.5 billion kilowatts of electricity a year, which in turn saves using as much as 4 million tons of standard coal and cuts carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 10 million tons.
Compared with the second-generation reactor type, Gouhe One is 400 times safer, and even in the event of a reactor meltdown, there would be no large-scale release of radioactive materials.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Martin Kadiev