Installation begins of outer dome at Rooppur 1

11 November 2022

Work is taking place to install the dome part of the outer containment building for unit 1 at the Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh.

The outer dome is taking shape at the unit (Image: Rosatom)

The section, weighing 200 tonnes and with a diameter of 46.3 metres, was lifted by a LR11350 crane into position at a height of 48.8 metres in a process which took five hours. The LR11350 crane has a lifting capacity of 1350 tonnes.

The Rooppur plant, being built 160 kilometres from the capital Dhaka, will feature two Russian VVER-1200 reactors, which have both an inner containment and an outer containment building.

"The outer containment is one of the key safety systems. It is a reinforced concrete structure protecting the reactor plant from external impacts, and is able to withstand an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane," said Alexey Deriy, director for Rooppur NPP construction project.

The lower tier of the outer containment dome has already been completed, with work on the dome installation and assembly being done by specialists from Rosatom's Engineering division.

Meanwhile, the Petrozavodsk branch of AEM Technologies, part of the machine-building division of Rosatom, said it had completed the shipment of a set of eight tanks for the passive core flooding system for unit 2 at Rooppur. Each of the stainless steel tanks has a height of 10.5 metres, diameter of 4 metres and weighs about 78 tonnes. All eight of the so-called SPZAZ tanks will now be transported by sea from St Petersburg to Bangladesh.

In the finished unit, the large metal tanks will be installed above the reactor and steam generators. If the pressure in the reactor coolant system drops below a certain level, a solution of boric acid held in the SPZAZ tanks would flow automatically into the reactor core. Boric acid cuts reactivity and therefore heat generation in the reactor core by absorbing neutrons. The tanks are made to hold 120 cubic metres of boric acid solution each.

The Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday quoted Bangladesh's Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman as saying the government was seeking to complete the power plant within the current timeframe - unit 1 completed in 2024 and unit 2 in 2025 - despite some delays as a result of the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, as well as COVID-19. The newspaper said no alteration to the timeframe was mentioned. It also reported that "efforts are being made to expedite the project" to complete a new transmission line to the plant before the nuclear power plant is finished.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News