909 Base / Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC)
The China Nuclear Power Research and Design Institute has been named 909 Base, the Second Research and Design Institute of the Second Ministry of Machinery, the First Research and Design Institute of the Ministry of Nuclear Industry, and the First Research and Design Institute of the Nuclear Industry. The base covers an area of ??more than 10 square kilometers. A 120-meter-high chimney that does not smoke directly rushes into the sky, surrounded by mountains, and the trees are dense and dense, and the outside line of sight is blocked.
In July 1958, the “Nuclear Power Design” group was formed by the second machine department. In August 1963, with the approval of the Central Special Committee, the Reactor Research Laboratory of the Institute of Atomic Energy and the Nuclear Submarine Technology Research Laboratory of the Naval Ship Research Institute merged to form the Submarine Institute of Nuclear Power Engineering (referred to as the Institute of Nuclear Power, 715 Institute of the People's Liberation Army). In September 1965, 715 Institute and the second machine department 194 merged to form the second machine department 909 base (909 means 715+194). Local rumors about this mysterious base have been raised. The villagers thought that "the Communist Party has built a large temple here." The base can only cover some buildings around the nuclear submarine workshop, making it look more like a factory. The secretary of the village branch asked the base what he was doing. The research said that he was a semiconductor, and at the request of the secretary, he sent two semiconductor radios in the village.
The mysterious 909 base is where China's first-generation nuclear-powered submarine was developed. Dashangou in southwestern Sichuan is not far from Chengdu. In the mid-20th century, pioneers from the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) under the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) gathered to the mountain valley, which is still called by number or code name today. Without external materials and practical experience to fall back on, these scientists began to develop China's first generation of a pressurized water nuclear power reactor, which was later successfully installed on China's first generation of nuclear submarines.
In order to build the first generation nuclear submarine onshore model reactor, a nuclear power research base codenamed 909 was established in the mountains of Jiajiang, Sichuan Province in 1965. In September 1965, the research base codenamed 909 was established. The following year, 8,000 people from all parts of the country, with a variety of accents, entered the ravine in the southwest. What is even more unfortunate is that after catching up with the difficult times, 8000 children arrived here, and the first year was basically collecting wild vegetables. At that time, the chief designer of the nuclear submarine, Peng Shilu, lived in a simple earthen house with only one camp bed and one desk.
From 1967 to 1969, it was placed under the second machine department (the Ministry of Nuclear Industry). The hospital gradually moved from Beijing to Sichuan. In 1987, the design department moved from Jiajiang to Chengdu and rebuilt the design office. In 1996, the non-radioactive part was also moved to Chengdu, gradually forming the pattern of “two points and six places” today. It is a comprehensive military-civilian nuclear power research and development base for design, R&D and production.
In August 1965, China formally started developing the first generation of nuclear submarines. The first generation of nuclear submarine onshore model pile plant is a five-story building, which from the outside looks no different from an ordinary office building. Underground, a huge factory building is located. The site selection took a lot of trouble, because the nuclear submarine is a top secret mission. It is hard for anyone to find such a feng shui treasure in the mountain nest. It is surrounded by mountains, the forest on the mountain is high and dense, and it is invisible from the outside. At the foot, there is the Qingyi River passing through, and the cooling water is coming. So the development base of the nuclear power part of the submarine finally made a decision, and it is here.
If the nuclear submarine is a dragon, then the nuclear power plant is the heart of this dragon. Can this heart meet the requirements for the submarine to continue sailing? Before launching, it is necessary to build a land-based model with the same environmental conditions for simulation experiments. This reactor that does not need to be launched is a "dry duck". It is not only the source of power for nuclear submarines, but it is also the first nuclear power in China. It is said that the most popular "Hualong No. 1" can be respected. It is called "Grandpa".
After five years, on August 30, 1970, the land mode of nuclear submarines, which is 1:1 to those in the sea environment, was operated with full power in the 909 base. Changzheng-1, China's first domestically developed nuclear-powered submarine, was successfully launched after four months on December 26, 1970. It laid the foundation of China's strategic nuclear power at sea. However, the great work of the people in the 909 base was rarely known outside. They worked, researched and lived in a place which still "does not exist on the map."
After more than half a century, the main task of the CNNC has shifted from meeting the requests of national security, developing nuclear weapons and nuclear-powered devices, to developing advanced civilian-use nuclear technology and building an advanced nuclear industrial system.
The Hualong One technology is representative of the CNNC. It aims to lift China's nuclear industrial technology, equipment and comprehensive ability and bring China's nuclear technology innovation level to or above the world level by 2020. The core technology and key device of Hualong One shows CNNC's achievements in the past decades. Among these, the 177-fuel assembly-core is the symbol of Hualong One being totally domestically developed, which also increases by more than 5 percent the power generating capacity of reactors.
Hualong One is the most secure in the world. It utilizes a cooling safety system, double containments and earthquake-proofing technology. The "active and passive combined" cooling safety system can protect the reactors from extreme weather and avoid tragedies like Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant. From design, fuel, device, construction and operations to maintenance, China's independent proprietary intellectual property rights cover all processes of Hualong One.
The Hualong One is the world's only third-generation nuclear power project constructed as scheduled. Its cold functional tests began on April 27 on a circuit of the No. 5 nuclear power unit in Fuqing, East China's Fujian Province, to evaluate the performance of the circuit system and its supporting facilities under high-pressure conditions. The CNNC said the test started 50 days ahead of schedule. The No. 5 nuclear power unit is expected to be put into commercial operation in 2020. Two units of Hualong One are also being installed in Pakistan's Karachi nuclear power plant. Aside from the third generation of nuclear power, the fourth one is being developed and has made breakthrough. When asked if the nuclear power technology will be used on China's spacecraft, experts said that "we will have what other countries have!"
Aside from the nuclear submarine and Hualong One, the CNNC is also developing the "Artificial Sun" project with the help of the Southwestern Institute of Physics in Southwest China's Sichuan Province. The project uses the nuclear fusion principle, like the H-bomb. However, unlike the H-bomb releasing uncontrollable power in one second, scientists now need to achieve controllable fusion and a sustained release of power, like the sun, that provides energy. However, the technology is extremely difficult. The HL-2A Tokamak in the Southwestern Institute of Physics, built in 2002, is the scientific platform for the project.
The HL-2M Tokamak, a more advanced Chinese-designed "artificial sun" and a device to harness energy from fusion, will be completed this year. The electric current of the HL-2M Tokamak will be upgraded to 3 trillion amperes, which will further improve China's research ability on controlled nuclear fusion technology. The controlled nuclear fusion research began in 1958 in China. It shows that China has had a long-term strategy and top-level design to develop nuclear technology. It is not designed for only the military purpose.
The Global Times reporter entered the base on April 23, as the People's Liberation Army Navy celebrated its 70th anniversary. The visit of science fiction writers to the 909 base was organized by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council and several media and social platforms, including the Global Times Chinese website huanqiu.com and Sina Weibo.
Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC), a subsidiary to China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), is the only large-scale comprehensive R&D base in China incorporating reactor engineering research, design, test, operation and small batch production. Since its foundation in 1965, NPIC has established a complete research and development system, including nuclear power engineering design, equipment assembly and supply of NSSS, reactor operation and application research, reactor engineering test and research, nuclear fuel and material research, isotope production, nuclear technology application research and services, etc.
NPIC is currently staffed by more than 2,400 professionals, and among them there are more than 1,700 professors, senior engineers, and engineers, and 3 academicians of Chinese Academy of Engineering. NPIC has established 90 laboratories including two national key laboratories and two national energy R&D centers covering more than 50 subjects and specialties. Until recently, more than 1,500 national or provincial (ministerial) awards have been granted to NPIC, together with more than 100 patents. It also has established the postdoctoral mobile research station and the doctorial and master degree conferring unit for several subjects in China.
The advanced facilities and strong technical capability enable NPIC to play a significant role in high technology field and the industry system for advanced energy exploration in China. Since its foundation, 7 nuclear facilities have been designed and constructed by NPIC on self-reliance such as the 1st High Flux Engineering Test Reactor in China, and therefore NPIC is praised as the reactor valley in China. In the “615” base constructed in 1990s, there are 18 large scale test installations for R&D of reactor engineering which are the most advanced in China and almost in the world. Now, a new comprehensive R&D base incorporating basic research, design, test, engineering verification and development of key equipment is being constructed by NPIC.
NPIC has passed the accreditation of the quality system standard ISO9001-2008 and is a qualified Class-A designer of the main process of reactor engineering as well as a supplier of system integration and NSSS. Currently, it is undertaking the engineering design and technical service of nuclear island (NI) main system or NSSS of nuclear power engineering projects for Qinshan Phase-?Extension, LingAo Phase-?, Hongyanhe, Fuqing, Fangjiashan, Ningde, Yangjiang, Changjiang, and so on.
Being committed to R&D of nuclear power, NPIC has developed nuclear power plants CP600/CP1000/CPR1000, the localized self-owned brand with independent intellectual property rights. Besides, NIPC undertakes the R&D of next generation of nuclear power plants ACP100, ACP600 and ACP1000, series of CF fuel elements, and advanced research of technology of super-critical water reactor and so on.
NPIC provides a series of specialized technical services for nuclear power plants and research reactors, including the overhaul and regular maintenance, supply of special tools, qualification of nuclear equipment and treatment of radioactive wastes and other services, which are being industrialized. NPIC has developed a series of primary products such as nuclear reactors for sea water desalination, low temperature nuclear heat supply, civil use isotopes and various kinds of medical treatment machines, industrial flaw detectors, a series of ‘Yunke’ anti-rheumatism pharmaceuticals and new materials for reactors.
Over the decades, NPIC made great contribution to national economy and the development of nuclear power cause, and therefore is praised as the Cradle of Nuclear Engineering in China by Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China. Facing the future, NPIC will adhere to the motto of Independent Innovation and Scale New Height, and move forward to the development goal to be the R&D center for nuclear engineering in China and one of the world-leading institutes.
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