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Nexans to supply cables to Chinese nuclear power plant project

28 July 2010

Nexans has been awarded a Euros 9 million contract by China Nuclear Power Engineering Company to supply specialised low voltage power, control and instrumentation cables for the Taishan EPR nuclear power plant (a model of which is shown here) that is currently under construction in Guangdong Province.
Nexans is supplying K3 type (not safety classified) cables for the Taishan project that have been designed and tested to deliver exceptional performance, reliability and safety in nuclear power installations. They will ensure enhanced fire-performance in emergency situations based on a high level of fire-retardancy and fire-resistance together with low-smoke and low toxicity characteristics provided by the use of zero-halogen materials.

Typical duties for the LV power cables will be to power the pumps that transfer water between the reactor vessels and the steam generators. The control cables will provide primary control for primary pumps, safety valves, ventilation and air-conditioning, while the instrumentation cables will be used for constant system surveillance, transferring measured parameters such as steam pressure, water and component temperature, liquid levels, flow rates and vibration.

The cables for the Taishan nuclear power plant will be manufactured in the Nexans Mehun-sur-Yèvre plant in France, and deliveries to the site in China will commence at the end of 2010.

Nexans recently completed successdful tests of the world’s first HVDC high temperature superconductor (HTS) power transmission cable designed for 200kV. This result constitutes an important step in demonstrating the capability of underground HVDC HTS cables to transfer bulk power at the gigawatt levels required by proposed supergrid projects such as the Tres Amigas renewable energy market hub in the US. The voltage tests were carried out at Nexans' high voltage laboratory in Hanover, Germany.
The HVDC HTS cable is based on a similar configuration to the 138kV alternating current HTS cable, currently operating in Long Island in the US (installation designed and implemented by Nexans, commissioned in 2008). The key design challenges addressed by Nexans have concerned the termination (connecting the cable to the electrical network) which is completely different from that used in ac systems.

The next step is for Nexans to adapt this HTS cable system to the very high currents (up to 12,500A) required to transfer several gigawatts of power in order to take full advantage of the low-loss power transmission capabilities of HTS cables. The company will also develop suitable joints to enable the installation of long lengths of HTS cable and facilitate repairs.

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