The Leningrad NPP: the French team from MAN is leaving the construction site of the VVER-1200 2nd power unit. The services at the backup diesel generating sets have been fully completed

On June 25, 2020, the VVER-1200 2nd power block of the Leningrad NPP held a ceremony of completing the services on the check-out of the critical equipment – the high-capacity diesel generating sets. The works were delivered by a combined team of the Leningrad NPP specialists and the companies that have manufactured this equipment - MAN Energy Solutions France SAS and Moteurs Leroy Somer (France).

The diesel generating sets with the capacity of 6.3 megawatt each are designed for backup electricity generation at the power unit in case its facilities are cut off from the regular supply, and it is a critical piece of the NPP safety system. Each nuclear power plan is required to have those available.

During the final test, the team has fully imitated de-energizing of a power block, turned off the regular auxiliary power supply. As outlined in the design algorithm, the diesel generating sets operating in the ‘standby duty’ mode launched automatically within a few seconds and started to provide power supply to all systems and technology equipment to enable further switch of the reactor facility into a safe mode.

The assembly of the diesel generating sets coincided with the wide spread of coronavirus. Following the negotiations with the French counterparts and taking into account the fact that the borders and the transport connection with France were shut, the partners have managed to make arrangements for MAN team to arrive to the construction site of the new Leningrad NPP power units and facilitate the supervising activities.

Today, the French team has returned home. Before leaving, themselves and their Russian colleagues installed a commemorative plaque at the 2nd diesel generating set building saying ‘True partnership is above any circumstances’.

‘International cooperation in the nuclear power industry has never been susceptible to any political or economic circumstances’, Vladimir Pereguda, the director of the Leningrad NPP, noted. ‘All countries and companies have a clear understanding that nuclear safety and cooperation on making the nuclear power secure is a shared responsibility for everyone, with no exceptions. We highly appreciate that our French partners made an extra mile and did their best to make sure that this mission-critical equipment was installed on time with little to no impact on the deadlines, despite the tough times and some seemingly impassable obstacles. It is very symbolical to me that this example of cooperation despite complicated circumstances coincided with the 75th anniversary of the Victory, which marked a number of fantastic cooperation cases, including the joint efforts of our pilots and those in the ‘Normandie-Niemen’ Squadron’.

As of now, the VVER-1200 power block is undergoing final preparations for the physical launch. This milestone is to be achieved in summer 2020. The production launch of the power block is scheduled for 2021.

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