Peng Shiloh

Article

May 22, 2022

Peng Shilu (Chinese trad. 彭士禄, ex. 彭士祿, pinyin Péng Shìlù; November 18, 1925, Haifeng, Republic of China - March 22, 2021, Beijing) - Chinese nuclear engineer, "father of Chinese nuclear submarines" and "father of naval nuclear engines of China. The first chief designer of the Chinese nuclear submarine project, under whose leadership the first generation submarines were built: Project 091 Han submarines and Project 092 Xia submarines. He was also the chief designer of China's first nuclear power plants and was a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. He also served as Vice Minister of China's Shipbuilding Industry and Minister of Hydropower.

Biography

Peng Shilu was born on November 18, 1925 in Haifeng County, Guangdong Province to Peng Bai, a prominent Chinese communist revolutionary in the 1920s. His parents were killed by the Kuomintang government when he was not even 4 years old, and he himself was imprisoned at the age of 8 for being the son of Peng Bai. He was later rescued by his grandmother and sent to Yan'an by Zhou Enlai. In the 1940s, he received his initial training at the Yan'an Institute of Natural Sciences (now Beijing Institute of Technology). After 1949, he left for the Soviet Union to complete refresher courses in nuclear energy at the Moscow Power Engineering Institute.

Career

When Peng returned to China, he was appointed to lead the submarine nuclear reactor project. In 1959, the Soviet Union refused to provide assistance to China's planned nuclear submarine project, and Mao Zedong declared that China would build its own nuclear submarines "even if it takes 10,000 years". Peng oversaw the entire nuclear submarine project and simultaneously set about developing a workable nuclear power plant. In 1968, Peng proposed and led the construction of a land-based prototype nuclear power reactor in Sichuan for China's first nuclear submarine. This reactor was completed in April 1970 and successfully tested in July after Peng reported to the Central Special Commission headed by the Prime Minister.