AEM Technology has completed welding of the lower half of the VVER-1200 reactor vessel for unit 2 of the Belarus nuclear power plant, in Ostrovets, in the Grodno region. The upper half of the reactor vessel was completed in December.
Based in Volgodonsk, Russia, AEM Technology is part of Atomenergomash (AEM), itself a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom. AEM announced the latest milestone in the construction of the unit yesterday.
The welding process, conducted over 15 days, included a temperature of more than 200°C, AEM said. The structure was then heated in a furnace at a temperature of 300°C "to obtain the desired mechanical properties of the metal", it added.
The reactor vessel is a vertical cylindrical body with elliptical base, in which the active zone and internals are located. The top of the reactor is hermetically sealed with a lid with drive mechanisms as well as monitoring and protection systems attached.
The upper part of the structure has connections for the supply and discharge of reactor coolant as well as for the supply of emergency coolant during a "depressurization circuit", AEM said.
Once it passes quality control tests, the lower half will be treated with an anti-corrosion coating, which has already been applied to the upper half, AEM said.
Operation of the first unit of the Ostrovets plant is scheduled for November 2018 and the second unit in July 2020, to give 2340 MWe net capacity on line.
A construction licence for the base mat of unit 2 was issued by the ministry in February 2014. Construction of unit 2 started in May 2014, several months ahead of schedule.
Russian heavy machine-building company Atommash said in October last year it had completed production of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) for the Ostrovets plant. It is the first RPV manufactured at Atommash's production site after a nearly 30-year hiatus and the first since it became part of Rosatom in 2012.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News