AEM-tecnology has manufactured and dispatched a reactor vessel for the second nuclear unit of the Belorussian NPP

2016-10-31 16:07:00

SC Atomenergomash has completed the manufacturing of a reactor vessel for the second nuclear unit of the Belorussian NPP. It was dispatched to the customer from a production facility of Atommash, a branch of AEM-technology JSC, in Volgodonsk, Rostov Region, on October 31.

"The reactor vessel has successfully passed all phases of control and will be delivered to our partners exactly when scheduled," underlines CEO of SC Atomenergomash Andrey Nikipelov.
Reactor facility manufacturing is a unique high-technology competence owned by a few countries worldwide. Atomenergomash is the only Russian company producing the full package of nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) of NPP, including a reactor, steam generators, the main circulator, etc. The whole production chain, from design to dispatch to the customer, is concentrated within the company. The reactor facility project was developed by OKB GIDROPRESS, a part of Atomenergomash, which exercises field supervision and renders design engineering support. Materials engineering support is provided by the other company of the division, namely: CNIITMASH, State Research Center of Russian Federation, Russia's leading materials engineering institution. All workpiece manufacture, welding and machining work is also performed by the enterprises of AEM.

VVER-1200 reactor vessel production cycle takes 36 moths, starting from semi-finished to shipping. At each phase, from the purchase of metal for the manufacture of semifinished metallurgical products to the dispatch of a finished item, the highest priority is given to issues relating to production quality and safety in the course of subsequent operation. Overall quality assurance plan includes 315 control points. 86 checkout operations are performed involving representatives of the customer and a specialized duly authorized entity. Checkout operations make up a total of about one-third of the production cycle.

In the course of manufacture, specialists performed the full package of item testing, including hydraulic testing of the pressure vessel with the standard head of the upper unit. Fit-up assembly test with the standard intra-vessel devices and the standard head was the final phase of item manufacture. The pit, baffle, protective tube unit were put in a design position in the reactor pressure vessel. The manufacturing plant's specialists together with the customer's representatives performed the necessary checkout operations, resulting in the check of all geometrical parameters, the alignment of the elements and confirmation of the finished item quality.

The weight of VVER-1200 reactor vessels exceeds 330 tones, the height is 13 meters high and 4.5 meters in diameter. Transportation to the Belorussian NPP is a challenging logistics operation. The reactor pressure vessel will be delivered from the manufacturing plant to the mooring berth of the Tsimlyansk Reservoir in Volgodonsk using specialized motor vehicles. From there, it will be shipped by river to Novovoronezh and then carried by rail to Astravyets using a specialized conveyer.

The Belorussian NPP project entails the construction of a nuclear power plant as per the Russian next generation design ("three plus") with two VVER-1200 nuclear units with a total capacity of 2,340 MW and is implemented 18 km off Astravyets (Grodno Region, Republic of Belarus).