Polar crane tested at Novovoronezh II

06 February 2015

Russian architect-engineer AtomEnergoProekt has completed testing the polar crane erected at Novovoronezh II. The crane will be used to install the reactor vessel of unit 2, which is scheduled for the second half of this month.

Novovoronezh II polar crane - 460 (AEP)
Polar crane installed at Novovoronezh II (Image: AEP)

Novovoronezh II is the lead project for the deployment of the AES-2006 design incorporating a Gidropress-designed pressurized water reactor, an evolutionary development from the VVER-1000. Construction of Novovoronezh II units 1 and 2, also known as Novovoronezh units 6 and 7, began in June 2008 and July 2009, respectively. The original Novovoronezh site nearby already hosts three operating reactors and two that are being decommissioned.

The 360-tonne crane is located under the containment dome on a trolley that moves 360° on a circular rail over the reactor shaft, enabling transport operations anywhere in the central hall of the reactor building, Rosenergoatom said. It can be used for installing large equipment, such as the reactor vessel and steam generators, as well as during maintenance work and the transportation of fuel.

Rosenergoatom, the nuclear power plant operating subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said on 29 January it had commissioned the turbine building of unit 6 as it prepares the unit for first criticality. Delivery of nuclear fuel to the site is scheduled for the second quarter of this year, hot and cold testing of the reactor is scheduled for May, with start-up to follow later this year.

The company said today that its inspectors had verified the security of the plant, confirming that measures recommended by the Russian regulator Rostechnadzor had been carried out. Background radiation at the plant and its neighbouring territory corresponds to the normal operation of nuclear power units and does not exceed natural background values "typical for Central European part of Russia", it said.

The Novovoronezh plant's chief engineer, Anatoly Fedorov, said work at that plant is being carried out "on two fronts" – preparing unit 6 for first criticality, and preparing for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s OSART (operational safety review team) mission scheduled for November this year.

The Novovoronezh plant is located on the bank of the river Don, 42 km south of Voronezh. It was the first Russian nuclear power plant with VVER reactors. The first unit was commissioned in 1964, the second in 1969, the third in 1971, the fourth in 1972, the fifth in 1980. Units 3, 4 and 5 are currently in operation.

The new units will have a passive heat removal system that, in the event of loss of on-site power supply, will provide long-term heat removal from the reactor core to the atmosphere using natural circulation.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News