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Russia ships first reactor vessel, steam generator for BD nuclear power plant


Russia’s AEM-Technology has shipped the first key elements of Bangladesh’s Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.

AEM, part of Rosatom’s machine-building division JSC Atomenergomash, announced the shipment of a VVER-1200 reactor and a steam generator on Thursday.

Both were manufactured at the Atommash plant in Volgodonsk, the largest nuclear engineering production site in Russia.

The Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Pabna consists of two units with a capacity of 1200 MW each. The first unit is expected to be put into operation in 2023, and the second one in 2024.

“Manufacturing equipment with high quality and in time is one of our main priorities. In addition to that, despite a number of restrictions due to the coronavirus, we managed to ship the first reactor vessel for the Rooppur NPP according to the contractual obligations,” said Andrei Nikipelov, general director of JSC Atomenergomash.

“Further, our equipment has a long way to go - it will travel another 14 thousand kilometers by sea to be at the construction site of the first nuclear power plant in Bangladesh by the end of this year,” he added.

Nuclear power plants on the base of the VVER-1200 reactor are characterised by an “unprecedented level of safety, which allows them to be classified as generation 3+”, Rosatom said in a statement.

This has been achieved by the introduction of new "passive safety systems", which are able to function without operator intervention even when the station is completely de-energised. The life cycle of the reactors is 60 years with the possibility of further extension.

The transportation of massive equipment -- the weight of the reactor vessel is 333.6 tonnes while the steam generator is 340 tonnes -- is a complex logistic operation.

From the Atommash site, the reactor vessel and the steam generator were separately transported by special automotive equipment to the pier of the Tsimlyansk water reservoir in Volgodonsk, in order to then sail to Novorossiysk, and from there - via the Black Sea and the Suez Canal - to the construction site - to Bangladesh.

For the two power units of the Rooppur NPP, JSC Atomenergomash will manufacture over 14 types of equipment in total, including equipment for the reactor building: reactor vessels, sets of steam generators, main circulation pipelines, main circulation pumps, pressure compensation system equipment, emergency cooling systems and passive protection of the core.

It will also manufacture equipment for the turbine hall building: high-pressure heaters, vacuum, condensate and feed pumps, equipment for separation systems and reheating of the turbine unit.

In total, during 2018-2022, over 13,000 tonnes of unique equipment will be manufactured and shipped.