Kursk II-1 rises and gets its crane

22 October 2021

Construction has advanced at Russia's Kursk II-1 with the installation of the fourth inner containment ring and the start of work on the polar crane.

The yellow beams of Kursk II-1's polar crane are visible from above, as is the space into which the reactor pressure vessel will be installed (Image: Rosenergoatom)

Rosenergoatom yesterday announced the start of installation of unit 1's polar crane, which straddles the containment building on a 41.5 metre 'bridge' and rotates on a circular rail. The company said that a range of improvements to installation methods has cut 30% from the time taken to install polar cranes.

"The polar crane is designed to perform a wide range of tasks at all stages of a nuclear power plant's life cycle," said Andrei Osharin, first deputy director for construction of new reactors at Kursk. It is mounted on the fourth inner containment ring at a height of around 43 metres. This was set in place by crane and fully concreted in early October.

At present, the yellow beams of the polar crane's 'bridge' are visible in photographs. The cargo and service trolleys will be installed next, said Rosenergoatom, adding that it will be in early 2022, once all cabling and power is connected, that the crane will be tested and commissioned. After that it will support the installation of major components of the reactor itself.

Osharin said: "During the construction of the nuclear power plant, the crane will carry out lifting and transport operations for the installation of elements of the construction part and equipment of the sealed zone of the reactor building: the reactor vessel, steam generators, and the pressuriser." The reactor pressure vessel is already on site, having arrived in late September.

The Kursk II-1 reactor building will rise with two more containment rings before it is capped with a dome at a total height of 62 metres.

Construction of Kursk II-1 began in April 2018. It is the first of Russia's VVER-TOI design units.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News