At the construction site of Kursk NPP-2, the reactor vessel of power unit No. 2 was installed in the design position

The reactor vessel of the newest PWR-TOI power unit is installed in its regular place in the central hall of the second power unit of Kursk NPP-2. The start of work on installing the equipment in the design position – lifting the reactor vessel onto the transport portal, located at +26.3 meters, was given by the First Deputy General Director for Nuclear Energy of the Rosatom State Corporation, President of Atomstroyexport JSC Andrei Petrov, who visited the Kursk site during a work trip.

“At the moment, Kursk NPP-2 is the only nuclear power unit construction site in the Russian Federation that is in the active phase of construction,” noted Andrey Petrov. – We are faced with the task of developing the Russian nuclear park to strengthen the country’s production and technological potential. General technological understanding, full line: general contractor, customer, and suppliers - everything must be synchronized and work without loss of working time. Rosatom and its enterprises are making active efforts in this direction.”

The installation of the reactor vessel is one of the most important construction operations during the entire construction period of the Kursk NPP, marking the active stage of installation of all primary circuit equipment. It is from this phase that the countdown begins until the start of commissioning work at the nuclear power plant.

Before installing the reactor vessel, specialists performed incoming inspections under all regulatory requirements and then began preparatory work for installation. Ahead of the construction schedule, the equipment was installed in its regular place, which once again proves that the record today is the lower level of competence.

“The installation of the PWR-TOI reactor vessel is an important event not only for specialists of the Kursk NPP but also for the entire nuclear industry. In the entire history of nuclear energy development, there has never been such a well-thought-out project aimed at enhancing the reliability and safety of nuclear power plants. Before our eyes, a turning point in energy development is taking place - from the past to an innovative future. We have a lot of work ahead of us. By the end of 2023, at the second power unit, it is necessary to complete the installation of the main equipment of the primary circuit - steam generators and a pressure compensator, as well as install the dome part of the outer containment shell. All this will allow us to begin work on welding the main circulation pipelines in the future,” said Alexander Uvakin, director of the Kursk NPP.

“Installation of the reactor vessel into the design position takes place in several stages. Initially, the equipment is lifted onto the transport portal by a Liebherr crawler crane and moved inside the containment zone to a level of 26.3 meters using a special transport trolley, then the 340-ton structure undergoes edging: using a polar crane, specialists change the position of the equipment from horizontal to vertical and only then install it on a regular place at 11.3 meters into the reactor shaft, designed for the reactor vessel to fit into a strictly designated place - on the support ring. The maximum permissible deviation during installation is one tenth of a millimeter,” commented Oleg Shperle, vice-president of Atomstroyexport JSC, project director for the construction of Kursk NPP-2.

The work will be carried out in stages over three days by specialists from the contracting organization Kursk branch of MSU No. 5 JSC Energospetsmontazh with a force of about 70 people.

For reference:

The Kursk NPP (Kurchatov, Kursk region) is one of the largest generating sources of electricity in the Central Russian Black Earth Region. The consumers of its electricity are 19 regions of the Center of Russia. The station includes three power units with channel reactors with a total capacity of 3 million kW. Power unit No. 1, after 45 years of service, has been in operating mode without generation since December 2021. The station's power units were connected to the country's unified energy system in 1976, 1979, 1983 and 1985. In 1994-2009, all operating power units underwent deep technical modernization. Over the years of operation, the Kursk nuclear power plant has generated over 1 trillion kWh of electricity. At the moment, the construction of power units No. 1 and No. 2 of the Kursk NPP-2 replacement station with a new type of PWR-TOI reactor is underway. Their design service life is 60 years with the possibility of extension for another 20 years.

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.

The President and Government of the Russian Federation are expanding the range of measures to support domestic industry. The implementation of major projects, including in the energy sector, is accelerating. The Russian fuel and energy complex continues the planned renewal of capacities. This work is performed taking into account modern trends in digitalization and substitution of imported equipment. Rosatom and its enterprises take an active part in this work.

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