The core catcher has been delivered to the construction site of the Kursk NPP-2 2nd power block

The molten core catcher, or a so-called ‘melt trap’ has been delivered to the ‘nuclear island’ of the power plant’s second power block.

‘A melt trap is a unique development of the Russian nuclear power plant and one of the most crucial safety systems of an NPP. This passive protection technical tool is designed to capture liquid and solid radioactive materials in a hypothetic case of an emergency reactor destruction’, Rostislav Kimlik, the deputy chief engineer of capital construction and head of construction control unit, said. ‘The core catcher has been customized for the Kursk NPP-2 based on its site conditions and safety requirements, it has advanced earthquake resistance, hydrodynamic and impact resistance capability, flooding protection, and simplified assembly technology’.

The device is made of three parts: a vessel, a cantilever truss, and a slide plate. Its total weight is 381 tons: the slide plate is 97 tons, the cantilever truss with the diameter of 9.5 meters is 145 tons, and the trap vessel, which is 5.8 meters high, is 139 tons.

The company called CJSC Energotex, which is based in Kurchatov, produced the catcher. It was transported by heavy-duty tractive vehicles at 10 km/h. During the transportation, the Ivanino – Makarovka highway were closed for motorists travelling in both directions. Drivers were assisted by operators coordinating the travel at the most challenging routes: turns, the bridge over the Seym river, passage under the high-voltage power lines.

Until late December, the core catcher components will be located at a specially designed concrete site. Further on, the equipment will be deployed at the reactor hall of the 2nd power block.

*The 3+ generation 1st and 2nd power blocks of the Kursk NPP-2 are pilot projects constructed based on the VVER-TOI project (pressurized water type reactor standard optimized). This is a new designed elaborated by Russian specialists (ASE Group, the engineering division of the Rosatom State Corporation) on top of the technical solutions of the VVER-1200 NPP project. Compared to the previous-generation power blocks (VVER-1000), the capacity of each has been increased by 25%, up to 1,255 megawatt. The life span of the major equipment has doubled. The new Kursk NPP-2 power blocks comply with the most recent safety regulations set by the IAEA.

The developer and the technical customer of the facility is the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company. The general designer and the general contractor is ASE.

As of now, the 1st, the 2nd and the 4th power block of the Kursk NPP run at the capacity set in the dispatch schedule. The 3rd power block is undergoing scheduled maintenance.

The radiation background at the Kursk NPP and within its location area is within the limit of normal power block operation and does not exceed the natural background level.

All up-to-date information about the radiation environment next to the Russian NPPs and other nuclear power facilities is available at www.russianatom.ru

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