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AP-1000 Nuclear Reactor
LEGO AP-1000 Nuclear reactor, made in LEGO digital designer.
About this creation
This reactor is modelled off of the completed Westinghouse AP-1000 reactors in Sanmen, China. The AP-1000 is a Gen. III+ pressurized water reactor that produces approximately 1,117 MWe of electricity. It is based off of Westinghouse's older designs and utilizing features of a cancelled small modular reactor program they had been developing. The Gen. III+ reactors are notable in that they use passive safety systems, such as convection or other means, to keep the reactor cool for a limited time in the event of power loss in order to prevent an accident. A large reactor such as the AP-1000 can do so for about 3 days before it requires active cooling (generators and pumps).

The AP-1000 design has had a troubled history due to escalating costs and construction delays, with two reactors in my home state cancelled at the V.C. Summer generating facility after $9+ Billion USD in cost. A second two-reactor project in Vogtle, GA, is estimated to cost $27 Billion USD and come online in 2021 when completed. Vogtle was originally slated to cost $14.5 billion and come online in 2016. By comparison, the completed reactors in Sanmen came online from June-September of this year, are expected to reach 100% capacity by December, and cost only $7.1 Billion USD each (matching the original estimates for Vogtle).

By comparison, this reactor took three days to construct and assemble in LEGO Digital Designer. It totals 7295 pieces and stands at precisely 1.92 meters long, Assuming a cost of 0.15c per part (due to the large number of unique colored pieces and large pieces used), this would cost approximately $1095 USD.

Reactor dome:

Primary containment and fuel loading crane:

The reactor itself (Along with two turbines, pressurizer, and a pair of coolant/overflow tanks):

The Control Room:

The Turbine Building:

The Turbine itself:

Spent Fuel Pool:

Full gallery of images here:

Download the Lego Digital Designer file here:

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By Evan Schultheis
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Added October 7, 2018
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