Leningrad NPP-2: a radioactive nuclear handling crane has been installed at the second VVER-1200 power block

On June 11, 2019, one of the most important cranes designed to transport freight into the reactor compartment was installed at its designated location at the innovative 2nd VVER-1200 power block. A Liebherr LR 11350 crane was used for ascent and loading of the heavy lifting facility that was pre-assembled at ground level.

Shortly, the team will assemble another crane construction, specifically, a gantry with a lifting block for its subsequent maintenance and repairs. This will be followed by the installation of electric equipment elements and current lead to cater for electric power supply for the crane. Once the wiring activities are completed, the commissioning and startup activities will be carried out. At the final stage of the commissioning work, a number of trials will be run to confirm that the crane is ready for operation.

When building the power block, the travelling crane with the capacity of 360 tons will be utilized for re-loading extra-heavy equipment from external vehicles to the reactor building utility bridge. The next lifting operation is ascent and installation of the equipment airlock to its designated location, which is scheduled for fall.

During the power block operation, this crane will be used to deliver to the containment area any equipment and materials for scheduled maintenance or replacement of the reactor hall equipment. Another important function of the crane is handling fresh and discharged nuclear fuel.


Compared to the traditional VVER-1000 power blocks, the project for the 3+ generation Leningrad NPP power block has a number of advantages that considerably increase its economic parameters and safety standards. The capacity of the nuclear facility has been increased by 20%, from 1000 to 1200 megawatt; the designed life span of the core equipment has doubled and is now 60 years. In addition to that, this power block complies with the top international standards with regard to nuclear security. The Leningrad NPP-2 project serves as a reference for several international projects by the Rosatom State Corporation, such as the Belarusian NPP, the Paksh-2 NPP, the El Dabaa NPP, the Hanhikivi-1 NPP, etc.

The Leningrad NPP is the country’s first plant with RBMK-1000 reactors (uranium-graphite circuit-type reactor running on thermal neutrons). The decision that marked its construction was taken in September 1966 by a resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR and the Council of Ministers No. 800-252. According to that document, the Leningrad NPP was supposed to become a core in a network of nuclear power plants with RBMK-1000 reactors that were supposed to produce a substantial share of electric power. The construction of the Leningrad NPP was going well, and by 1973 the first power block was fully erected. On December 23, 1973, following stable 72-hours’ operation at the capacity of 150 megawatt, the State Commission signed the acceptance certificate stating that the first power block of the Leningrad nuclear power plant is commissioned for pilot production. 

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