The earthwork on the foundation of the first reactor of phase two of the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant in Russia has begun. This is due to be completed by April, after which first concrete can be poured.
The Novovoronezh plant
Engineering company AtomEnergoProekt (AEP) expects the earthwork to continue until April, by which time some 700,000 cubic metres of earth will have been removed from the foundation pit. Once the earthworks are complete, the pouring of concrete can start, marking the actual start of construction of the plant.
So far, some 4 million cubic metres of earth has been removed from the Novovoronezh Phase 2 construction site. This corresponds to some 50,000 cubic metres of earth being moved per day. AEP said that over 800 people and 300 vehicles (excavators, bulldozers and dump trucks) are currently involved in the project.
A contract for the construction of the first and second units of phase two of the Novovoronezh plant was signed by Russia's Federal Agency for Nuclear Energy (Rosatom) and AEP on 14 June 2007.
Construction work of the two units, both 1200 MWe VVERs, began shortly afterwards on 20 June 2007. The first unit of phase two is scheduled to begin operating in 2012, with the second unit due to start the following year. AEP said that since the beginning of the project, it has allocated 3.1 billion roubles ($126 million), of which 2.5 billion roubles ($101 million) has already been spent.
There are currently five existing reactors at the Novovoronezh site, two of which - prototype VVER-440 units - have already been shut down and are awaiting dismantling.
According to its contract, Izhora Plants continues manufacturing equipment for the first unit, in particular rings for the reactor pressure vessel, the steam generator and the pressurizer, reactor pit and protective pipes.