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Haiyang becomes China's first city to have "zero-carbon heating"

Author : PCEC

16 November 2021

On November 13, the Haiyang Government held a press conference to announce the second phase of China State Power Investment Corporation's (SPIC) 'Nuanhe No. 1' nuclear energy heating project. The project involves using nuclear power to heat the entirety of Haiyang City, making it China's first "zero-carbon" heated city.

Image: SPIC
Image: SPIC

The project started in 2019 when the first 8,000 residential buildings in Haiyang City were heated with zero-carbon nuclear power. In November 2020, Haiyang launched the construction of the second phase of the nuclear energy heating commercial demonstration project, investing 1 billion yuan (£116m) in the construction of supporting pipe networks, heat exchange stations and other related facilities. On November 9, the nuclear heating system began running at full power. As a result, the heating fee for residential heating in Haiyang was reduced by one yuan (12p) per square metre per building compared to previous years.

Compared with traditional coal-fired boiler heating, nuclear powered heating is a clean heating method and is expected to reduce Haiyang’s electricity consumption by 9 million kWh, saving 100,000 tons of coal, and reducing 180,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 1,188 tons of sulphur dioxide.

At the press conference, Ma Yuanhua, Deputy General Manager of Shandong Nuclear Power introduced the principles of nuclear heating and how to ensure safety. Nuclear heating is to extract part of the steam generated from the nuclear power generating unit as a heat source, and transfer the heat to the user after multiple heat exchanges. The 700,000 square metre nuclear energy heating project has passed the inspection and verification by experts from various parties, and the user's water has no radioactivity, which is consistent with various indicators of normal water use.

Zhao Xin, Chairman of Haiyang Haiyuan Energy introduced the three advantages of nuclear heating. First, the heating effect continues to be stable, and the heating capacity has been greatly improved. Second, the effect of energy saving and emission reduction is obvious, and the overall cost is reduced. The third is to implement digital monitoring and standardise management.

In addition, Haiyang's nuclear heat supply has also effectively improved energy efficiency and resource utilisation. After the first phase of the project was put into use, the thermal efficiency of the whole plant increased from 36.69% to 37.17%. The second phase of the project has been put into operation, and the thermal efficiency has increased to 39.94%. If all waste heat from nuclear power is connected to heating projects in the future, the thermal efficiency can be increased to 55.9%, which is 1.5 times the original.

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