Vessel assembly for Kudankulam reactor tested successfully in Russia

The testing, for Nuclear Reactor 5 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, was carried out in the presence of Indian and Russian experts in the Russian city of Volgodonsk; this process will help simplify the mounting of the reactor at its site

Updated - February 01, 2023 07:15 pm IST

Published - February 01, 2023 05:01 pm IST - TIRUNELVELI

The reactor vessel assembly with internals for Nuclear Reactor 5 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project is installed for a test to be carried out in the manufacturing facility in the Russian city of Volgodonsk. Photo: Special Arrangement

The reactor vessel assembly with internals for Nuclear Reactor 5 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project is installed for a test to be carried out in the manufacturing facility in the Russian city of Volgodonsk. Photo: Special Arrangement

The reactor vessel assembly with the internals meant for Nuclear Reactor 5 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) has been tested successfully in the Russian city of Volgodonsk.

In the presence of Indian and Russian experts, Atommash, part of a machine-building division of Rosatom – Atomenergomash in Volgodonsk, Russia, conducted the reactor vessel assembly test in an underground caisson a week ago with the internals, which have been manufactured for KKNPP, sources in Rosatom and KKNPP said.

First, using a crane with a lifting capacity of 600 tonnes, the specialists installed the 11-meter-tall VVER-1,000 reactor vessel on its design position. Then, one after another, they lowered the 10-meter-long core barrel weighing 73 tonnes, the core baffle weighing 38 tonnes and the protective tube unit weighing 68 tonnes. The reactor was then closed with the standard reactor cover. The total assembled weight reached 603 tonnes, sources said.

During the assembly, the staff installed keys and fasteners on the reactor vessel and fixed the centering device of the reactor cover. When installed, it repeats, exactly, the design position and hence the exercise significantly reduces the deadline and simplifies the mounting of the reactor facility at the nuclear reactor construction site, sources point out.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, after operating 2 X 1,000 MWe VVER reactors in 2013 and 2016 respectively, is now constructing four more reactors with similar capacities, with Russian assistance.

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