China's nuclear expert recognized for breakthroughs, global contribution

Source:China Daily Editor:Chen Zhuo 2021-11-04 08:44:09

Wang Dazhong, back row, first from left, and his dance teammates at Tsinghua University. [Photo provided to]

Between 1987 and 1990, Wang and his team made important breakthroughs in key technologies related to helium coolants and fuel elements. In 1992, the State Council approved the building of an experimental 10MW HTGR at Tsinghua University. The reactor reached criticality in 2000 and full power operation in 2003. Its completion ushered in a new generation of nuclear energy systems that effectively eliminate the possibility of reactor core meltdown.

At the first session of the 10th National People's Congress, the HTGR was introduced in the 2003 Government Work Report as one of the four major scientific and technological achievements influencing the world. It also helped Wang pocket first prize in the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award again in 2006.

The following decade, he and his team continued to promote cooperation between the research institute and industry partners for the commercial application of their innovative reactor technology. Their achievements helped China independently master modular HTGR technology, and create a comprehensive development chain, from basic scientific research to commercial manufacture.

He Jiankun, former executive vice-president of Tsinghua University, said Wang's scientific achievements have paved the way for the future application of clean energy as China strives to become carbon neutral.

Nuclear power emits zero carbon and can ensure the safe and stable operation of the power grid. Being inherently safe, Modular HTGR can also generate hydrogen while producing electricity, which can be used to replace fossil fuels as a heat source.

"This technology will make significant contributions to the transition of the energy structure, to zero carbon emissions, and to the sustainable development of the world," he added.

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