Russia to use Baltic NPP reactor vessel for Ostrovets 2

25 April 2017

Belarus and Russia have agreed to the delivery of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) originally built for the Baltic NPP - under construction in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad - to unit 2 of the nuclear power plant under construction in Ostrovets, in the Grodno region of Belarus, Rosatom has confirmed to World Nuclear News. The schedule for commissioning the Ostrovets 2 is uaffected and remains 2020.

Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of the Russian state nuclear corporation, on 1 April installed the RPV of Ostrovets 1, which is scheduled to start up in late 2018-early 2019. The RPV built for unit 1 was shipped to the construction site in October 2015, but workers dropped it during installation work in August last year. Although the RPV was found to be "absolutely functional", Rosatom's then director-general Sergey Kirienko agreed to a replacement and at no additional cost to the customer, other than for its transport to the site. The RPV originally built for Ostrovets 2 - AEM-Technology, another Rosatom subsidiary, completed its assembly in May last year - has therefore been used for unit 1 instead.

According to BelTA news agency, Mikhail Mikhadyuk, deputy energy minister of Belarus, said last week: "We have already signed an amendment to the contract, which obliges the general contractor to install the the reactor pressure vessel made for the Baltic nuclear power plant into the second power generating unit. It is an identical product because the Baltic NPP was designed in the same way as the Belarusian plant." Rosatom is supplying the RPV built for the Baltic NPP at no extra cost to Belarus, he added.

The Ostrovets plant - the first nuclear power plant to be built in Belarus - consists of two VVER-1200 type reactors to give 2340 MWe net capacity on line. Each RPV weighs more than 330 tonnes, is 11 meters long and 4.5m in diameter.

Belarus agreed last September to the return of the RPV for unit 1 to Russia.

A Rosatom spokeswoman said yesterday the corporation had "undertaken all the required inspections on site" and that these had "proved the RPV had not experienced any damage and is ready for further operation". She added: "There were no technical barriers to the use of the RPV [but] Rosatom intended to protect its Belarusian counterparts against any groundless claims by third parties and consequently agreed to change the RPV in order to dispel any the public concerns regarding the Belarusian NPP."

An intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Belarus specifically on cooperation in the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus was signed in March 2011.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News