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27 Jan 2016

Production of reactor vessel for BelNPP second unit through key stage

MINSK, 27 January (BelTA) – The Volgodonsk-based branch Atommash of the Russian company AEM Technologies (part of Atomenergomash, which is the mechanical engineering division of the Russian state corporation Rosatom) has finished welding the lower half of the reactor vessel VVER-1200 that will become part of the second power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP), reads a press release by the Atomenergomash media center, BelTA has learned.

“This is one of the key stages of the construction of the reactor vessel,” the media center said.

The piece of equipment weighs over 160 tonnes. The automatic welding operation took 15 days, with the welding area constantly heated. After the welding operation the product was left inside a furnace where it remained heated to 300°C for several days in order to secure the necessary mechanical properties of the metal. The heating and holding process was conducted under the temperature of 650°C, the press release reads.

Once the heat treatment is finished, the welding seams will be examined. After that the inside surface of the hemisphere will be covered with corrosion-resistant alloys.

“The construction of the second power-generating unit of the BelNPP proceeds on schedule. Our specialists’ experience and the high-accuracy equipment enable us to guarantee the supreme quality of the reactor vessel and its timely delivery,” the media center said quoting AEM Technologies Director General Igor Kotov.

The reactor is a vertical cylinder with an elliptical bottom. The reactor core and the internal components will be located inside. The reactor is hermetically sealed by a lid that also bears the actuators and mechanisms meant to regulate the process and protect the reactor. The lid also contains pipe sleeves that will be used to feed cables from internal reactor control sensors.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is a project to build an AES-2006 type nuclear power plant 18km away from Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The BelNPP will have two power-generating units with the total output capacity of up to 2,400MW (2x1,200MW). In line with the general contract for building the nuclear power plant the first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2018, with the second one to go online in 2020.

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