Rolls-Royce to upgrade Loviisa safety automation systems

22 April 2020

UK engineering company Rolls-Royce has been awarded a contract by Finnish utility Fortum for a partial renewal of the engineered safety features actuation system (ESFAS) functions of the Loviisa nuclear power plant. This is a critical nuclear instrumentation and control (I&C) system which automatically manages the plant's safety features.

The Loviisa plant (Image: Fortum)

Under the contract, Rolls-Royce will partially replace the existing analogue systems - which manage safety features such as the isolation of main steam lines, main feedwater and emergency feedwater - with a digital system using its Spinline technology.

The renewed system will be designed, manufactured, tested, installed and commissioned by the Rolls-Royce I&C centre of excellence based in Grenoble, France, which has already provided I&C solutions to 150 nuclear power and research reactors around the world.

Fortum and Rolls-Royce signed an agreement in May 2014 for the modernisation of the most critical safety automation systems on Loviisa units 1 and 2. Fortum developed the safety automation architecture based on its overall plant safety design concept ADLAS, which validated the safety functions with the advanced process simulator APROS. The scope of work for Rolls-Royce included design, licensing, installation and commissioning activities for new safety systems. The project was implemented in three phases during annual outages and was completed in October 2018.

"We are delighted to have signed this [new] contract with Fortum," said St├ęphane Lessi, director of Rolls-Royce's Civil Nuclear France business unit. "After the successful completion of the global I&C modernisation of Loviisa nuclear reactors in 2018, this contract is further proof of the confidence that Fortum places in our people and in our Spinline technology."

He noted the onsite installation work will be carried out within planned outages in 2020 and 2021, without any impact on their duration. "Furthermore, the modernised system will be integrated into the existing long-term service agreement between Fortum and Rolls-Royce, which guarantees the necessary support to operate the I&C systems provided by Rolls-Royce until the end of the plant's lifetime."

The Loviisa units are unique in that the reactors are of the Russian VVER-440 design, but have Western I&C systems and enhanced safety features, such as strengthened containments. Unit 1 was commissioned in 1977 and unit 2 in 1981. Licence extensions were issued in July 2007, enabling the units to operate until 2027 and 2030, respectively.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News