Core catcher on its way to Belarus 2

31 July 2014

The Volgodonsk branch of AEM-Technology has started preparing the core melt trap, or core catcher, for shipment to the site of the Belarus nuclear power plant, near Ostrovets.

A core catcher is a device provided to catch the molten core material - corium - of a nuclear reactor in case of a nuclear meltdown and prevent it from escaping the containment building.

 Ostrovets 1 core catcher 460 (AEM-Technologies)
Core catcher on its way to Ostrovets, Belarus (Image: AEM-Technology)

In a statement issued July 30, Atomenergomash (AEM) said the core catcher is intended for the second reactor of the plant. AEM-Technology - which fabricated the components - is an affiliate of Atomenergomash.

The metal structure is 14 meters high and 6.5 m across. It weighs about 750 tonnes, AEM said.

The core catcher for Belarus-1 was delivered to the plant site in October. Construction of unit 2 started early last month, following the pouring of first concrete for the reactor's basemat. Both units are scheduled to start operation by 2020.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant will consist of two power-generating units with the total generating capacity of up to 2400MW (1200MW each). The Russian design AES-2006 has been chosen to build the power plant. The design is fully compliant with international standards and IAEA recommendations. The Russian merged company OAO NIAEP – ZAO Atomstroyexport (ASE) is the general designer and the general contractor for building the power plant.

AEM-Technology has also made and delivered core catchers for the first and second units of the Novovoronezh 2 nuclear power plant and for the first unit of the Baltic nuclear power plant.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News