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China beats US in starting world''s first meltdown-proof nuclear power plant

中国击败美国,开始启用世界上首座防堆芯熔毁的核电站



The fuel loading, which is the final step before the reactor starts operation, would place China as the first country in the world to begin running the most powerful plant.

该核电站正在装填燃料,这是反应堆开始运作之前的最后一步,这将令中国成为世界上首个开始运作这类最强大电站的国家。

China has taken a significant step towards changing the economics of renewable power in the world, and is ahead of the Unites States (US) in the race for cleaner energy: It has announced the launch of a nuclear power plant that is apparently immune to meltdown. This is the Sanmen Nuclear Power Station.

中国已经在改变世界可再生能源经济上迈出了重要的一步,并在清洁能源的竞赛中领先美国:它已宣布一座显然能够避免堆芯熔毁的核电站投入运行。这便是三门核电站。

The loss faced by South Carolina- based Santee Cooper and SCANA after abandoning the construction of two similar nuclear reactors in the US and the delay that followed turned out to be a gain for China.

由公司本部在森迪库珀公司和SCANA集团放弃在美国建造两座类似核反应堆的项目以及随之而来的延宕所导致的损失已经被证明为中国带来了利益。

Over the next two weeks, after the completion of fuel loading — the final step before the reactor starts operation, China will be the first country in the world to begin the operations of a unique power plant that sits facing the East China Sea, located in Sanmen county in Zhejiang province.

在接下来的两周时间里,在燃料装填工作——这是核反应堆开始运作之前的最后一步——完成之后,中国将成为世界上首个开始运作这种独一无二电站的国家——这座核电站坐落于中国东海之滨,位于浙江省三门县。

Sometime within the next couple of weeks, a pair of robotic arms will be installing the fuel into the core of the plant's reactor, heralding a new era in China's push for clean energy.

在之后两周内的某一时间,一对机械手臂将会把燃料装填入电站反应堆的核心之中,这标志着中国在寻求清洁能源上进入了一个全新的时代。

China needs nuclear energy to bring down its dependence on fossil fuels and meet its target on cutting down on pollution, George Borovas, a Tokyo-based partner and head of global nuclear group at Shearman & Sterling, told South China Morning Post.

谢尔曼与斯特林驻东京的合作伙伴与全球核能源团队主管George Borovas对《南华早报》说道:中国需要通过核能源来减少它对化石燃料的依赖,并实现其削减污染的目标。

How it all began

它是从何开始的?

The construction of the AP1000 reactor — which is being used in the Sanmen plant — began in 2009 with a joint investment by US and China of 40 billion yuan, with plans to begin the working of at least one of the two reactors in 2013.

AP1000核反应堆——该反应堆被用于三门核电站——的建设开始于2009年,由美国和中国共同投资400亿人民币,按照计划,该项目至少要在2013年开始两座核反应堆中的一座的建造工作。

The developments were delayed as the US supplier Westinghouse Electric Co redesigned the reactor's main pump, which reportedly uses the technology deployed in American nuclear submarines.

但是工程进度因为美国供应商西屋电气公司重新设计该反应堆的主泵而延误,据称该主泵使用了美国核潜艇上应用的技术。

After the meltdown of Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor in 2011, Chinese safety inspectors wanted to incorporate the necessary changes in Sanmen's design to prevent it from meltdown. Thus Sanmen's launch date was postponed from June to end of this year.

在日本福岛核反应堆于2011年发生堆芯熔毁之后,中国的安全监管者们希望对三门核电站的设计作出必要更改,以防止其发生堆芯熔毁的事故。因此三门核电站的动工日期从该年6月推迟至年底。



How is it meltdown proof?

它是如何防止堆芯熔毁的?

The AP1000 reactor used in the power plant is designed in such a way that the overhead water tank will flush the reactor's core to keep it cool even if a water pump stops functioning in a situation of blackout.

该核电站所使用的AP1000核反应堆的设计思路确保了即便在该地发生停电状况导致水泵停止工作的情况下,悬空的水箱也能冲洗反应堆的核心部分,保持它的冷却状态。

The hot water would ascend as vapour, go into a heat exchanger into the atmosphere, condense and return to the tank. As long as gravity is in place, the cycle will continue without any human intervention.

热水将会变成蒸汽升腾,通过一个热交换机混入空气,然后压缩,再返回水箱之中。只要重力仍然存在,这一循环就能够在没有任何人类干预的情况下持续下去。

Hoping that there will be no more delays, a Westinghouse spokesperson in China was quoted as saying by SCMP: "The first AP1000 reactor is not only important to China, but the world."

《南华早报》引述西屋公司在中国的一名发言人的话说:“希望不会再出现任何延误,首座AP1000核反应堆不仅对中国至关重要,对于整个世界也是如此”。

America's loss was China's gain

美国之所失即中国之所得

The process of establishing an AP1000 reactor in the US had faced several roadblocks from the beginning. The US had not built any reactor since the Pennsylvania accident of 1979.

在美国建造一座AP1000核反应堆的进程从一开始就面对着若干障碍。自1979年的宾夕法尼亚事故以来,美国就再没有建造过任何核反应堆。

US President Donald Trump's Energy Independence Executive Order in March had punctured former President Obama's 2015 Clean Power Plan. It discouraged the intent to invest or develop clean energy including nuclear power.

美国总统唐纳德·特朗普在3月发布的能源独立行政命令已经削弱了前总统奥巴马在2015年推出的清洁能源计划。这一举措令投资或发展包括核能在内的清洁能源的企图受挫。

The cost overruns and the delays had driven the designer and the builder Westinghouse into bankruptcy in March.

3月,成本超支和延误已经令设计方和建造方西屋公司破产。