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31 Oct 2016

Reactor pressure vessel in transit to Belarusian nuclear power plant construction site

Atomenergomash Director General Andrei NikipelovVOLGODONSK, 31 October (BelTA) – A reactor pressure vessel left the Russian city of Volgodonsk on 31 October and is now on the way to the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, BelTA has learned.

The reactor pressure vessel was made by the Volgodonsk-based enterprise Atommash of the Russian company AEM Technologies (part of Atomenergomash, which is the mechanical engineering division of the Russian state corporation Rosatom).

Atomenergomash Director General Andrei Nikipelov explained that the reactor vessel has to be delivered to the Ostrovets construction site by the end of the year.

In his words, getting the reactor pressure vessel from Volgodonsk to the construction site is a complicated logistics operation. A special truck delivered this piece of equipment to the local river port in Volgodonsk. From there the reactor pressure vessel will be transported by river to Novovoronezh. After that a special transporter will deliver the product by rail to the Ostrovets construction site.

Reactor pressure vessel in transit to Belarusian nuclear power plant construction siteA VVER-1200 reactor pressure vessel weighs over 330 tonnes. It is 13 meters high, with 4.5 meters in diameter.

While making the reactor pressure vessel for the Belarusian nuclear power plant, the Russian company performed the entire set of tests, including hydraulic testing with the top lid in place.

A check assembly was the final stage of the manufacturing process. The shaft, the protective tube unit, and the baffle were placed inside the vessel in accordance with the blueprints. Specialists of the manufacturing company and representatives of the customer company performed the necessary tests. All the geometric parameters checked out and the quality of the product was confirmed.

The reactor is a vertical cylinder with an elliptical bottom. The reactor core and the internal components are located inside. The reactor is covered by a hermetically sealed lid. The lid is connected with the vessel using double-end bolts. The upper part of the reactor pressure vessel contains pipes to feed and drain the heat transfer agent as well as pipes to feed the heat transfer agent in case the pipe circuit depressurizes.

Reactor pressure vessel in transit to Belarusian nuclear power plant construction siteIt takes 36 months to make a VVER-1200 reactor pressure vessel from the time preformed blocks are manufactured until the final product is shipped. The quality control plan includes 315 control points. Representatives of the customer and a special authorized agency take part in 74 control operations.

Earlier BelTA quoted Belarusian Energy Minister Vladimir Potupchik as saying that this reactor pressure vessel will be used as part of the first power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is a project to build a VVER-1200 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).

Reactor pressure vessel in transit to Belarusian nuclear power plant construction siteAEM Technologies is Russia’s only enterprise that makes the entire set of steam-generating nuclear-powered equipment for nuclear power plants, including reactors, steam generators, and so on. The company can make up to four sets of equipment per annum.

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