Components for Summer headed to Ukraine

07 September 2021

Completion of unit 4 of the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant in Ukraine will be accelerated by the use of major plant components in storage since the construction of new reactors at VC Summer in the USA was cancelled. The head of Energoatom toured Westinghouse warehouses to inspect the condition of the AP1000 components.

Energoatom executives inspect a reactor pressure vessel in storage (Image: Energoatom)

"The complete set of parts for the reactor island is available," said Petro Kotin, acting director of Energoatom. By using them, "we will be able to significantly reduce the construction time of [Khmelnitsky 4], as we do not need to spend time on the production of this equipment," he added.

Kotin signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Patrick Fragman, Westinghouse president and CEO, last week which foresaw the completion of Khmelnitsky 4 "using AP1000 technology." The reactor started out as a VVER design in 1987 but construction stalled at 28% completion.

Energoatom published images of Kotin inspecting a range of components in storage at a warehouse in the state of South Carolina, where the project to build two AP1000s at the VC Summer site was abandoned in 2017. The pictures showed a reactor vessel, a steam generator, at least three main circulation pumps, a pressuriser, a generator, as well as boxed-up reactor internals.

Also on view in Energoatom's pictures were two integrated head packages. These 215-tonne modules include everything needed for removal of the reactor vessel head and control rods to enable refuelling: a lifting rig, seismic restraints for control rod drive mechanisms, support for reactor head vent piping, power cables, cables and a conduit for in-core instrumentation, cable supports and the cooling shroud assembly.

According to a settlement deal made in September 2020, uninstalled components made for Summer units 2 and 3 that can be re-used in new construction projects are owned and stored by Santee Cooper, while responsibility for their marketing and sale lies with Westinghouse. The proceeds would be split 67%-33%, respectively.

As well as completion of Khmelnitsky 4, Energoatom and Westinghouse's recent agreement foresaw up to four other AP1000 units at other power plants in Ukraine. The companies will continue discussions next week in Kiev, Energoatom said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News