The “nuclear heart” of the second power unit was delivered to the construction site of the Kursk NPP-2

The Kursk NPP-2 is the first in the history of modern Russia, the construction of which is being performed at a pace ahead of schedule 

The reactor that arrived at the construction site is one of five produced this year at Rosatom enterprises. This quantity is a record for the industry, which in 2023 was transformed into a nuclear technology conveyor: equipment for nuclear power plants was not produced at such a pace even during the Soviet era, when the record was three sets of reactor equipment. 

Governor of the Kursk Region Roman Starovoyt noted the significance of the event and, in general, of the investment project being implemented by Rosatom State Corporation in the region. “The construction of new units will ensure industrial growth. Kursk NPP-2 is a key investment project in the region for decades. The need for electrical energy is significant. Thus, we say with confidence that the electricity from the new reactors will be in demand in the southwest of the country,” he said. 

The reactor vessel is the main equipment of a nuclear power plant with a long manufacturing cycle. During the operational phase, the reactor vessel contains the active zone, which houses nuclear fuel, as well as structural elements for the nuclear reaction and transfer of thermal energy to the coolant. Externally, the reactor vessel is a vertical cylindrical vessel with a bottom and branch pipes. 

“The 340-ton, 12-meter reactor vessel is capable of withstanding a pressure of 250 atmospheres, which is 1.4 times higher than the working pressure. This will allow, after 60 years of operation, to extend the life of the rector by another 40,” said Kursk NPP Director Alexander Uvakin. 

Transportation of the product took place in a combined way: using water and land transport. From the place of manufacture - the Atommash plant in Volgodonsk - the equipment was transported to a special pier of the Tsimlyansk Reservoir, then loaded onto a barge and delivered to the Voronezh region, from where it was loaded onto a truck platform. The reactor vessel was accompanied by technical support and traffic police vehicles. The speed of the convoy did not exceed 25 km/h. 

“Installation of the equipment is planned for this year - this is a complex precise construction operation, consisting of different stages. According to the project, the reactor vessel will be installed at 11.3 meters on a support ring inside the reactor compartment. The installation of the reactor vessel of the second power unit is one of the key events in the construction of Kursk NPP-2. It marks the active phase of installation of all primary circuit equipment and from which the countdown begins until the start of commissioning work at the nuclear power plant,” commented Oleg Shperle, vice-president of Atomstroyexport JSC, director of the project for the construction of Kursk NPP-2. 

The fuel and energy complex has been and remains one of the most important components of the Russian economy, influencing the development of other industries. The President and Government of the Russian Federation set goals for its development in order to strengthen the country’s production and technological potential and improve the quality of life of Russian citizens. Rosatom and its enterprises take an active part in this work. 

Today, the Rosatom State Corporation is simultaneously constructing new nuclear power plants not only in Russia, but also in Turkey, Egypt, India, Bangladesh, Hungary and other countries. At the beginning of November, the state corporation handed over to the customer the Belarusian NPP - the first completed foreign NPP project using PWR-1200 reactors (similar to what is being built at the Kursk NPP). 

The construction of power units No. 1 and No. 2 of the replacement station Kursk NPP-2 is carried out within the framework of the Federal project “Design and construction of reference power units of nuclear power plants” of the Comprehensive program “Development of equipment, technologies and scientific research in the sphere of use of atomic energy in the Russian Federation for the period until 2024.

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